I wish someone would have told me I didn’t have a clue what I was saying. That I didn’t have the foggiest idea what the heck I was talking about.
I was an upper-level medical resident. Confident. Running a team of internal medicine physicians who were also in training.
“You need to order a CAT scan on this patient,” I told the resident doctor working underneath me. “At least, for medical-legal reasons,” I said.
The patient was having some vague chest pain. It clearly wasn’t a heart attack. I knew that. It was probably a twinge in the chest muscle. The patient could have probably gone home from the emergency department with reassurance, but the doctor there had already decided the patient should spend the night in the hospital.
“We need to rule out pulmonary embolism,” I told the young physician on my team. “The attorneys would have a field day if we missed that.”
At that particular moment, I had only seen the inside of a court room once before. And, it wasn’t for medical reasons.
This story is a great one.
It’s about a female dog with only three legs. Her fourth leg was amputated following a traumatic accident as a puppy.
Now, when she walks, she has a hitch in her step. And, when she hitches, she kicks the stump of her injured leg outward.
Step, step, hitch. Step, step, hitch.
One day, the female dog has puppies. And, her puppies do what all puppies do. They nurse. They watch. They learn a little about the world around them from each other. But, mainly, they learn about life from watching their mom.
Before long, the puppies are walking. And, how might they walk? You already know. They walk with a hitch in their step. Just like mom.
Pharmaceutical drugs cost too much. The new ones are always so expensive.
Hence, we need more regulations. And, the government should impose them. Set price limits. Cap drug-maker profits. This will make it better for all of us. The paternalism of our government should be the strongest when we are ill. Because we may need that medicine.
The government should regulate things more so we can get it cheaper.
Case in point. One new medication now available to cure a chronic liver disease costs about $84,000 per treatment course. The actual production cost for the company that makes the drug is supposedly around $100. Granted, the company paid $11 billion for the patent rights, and then took a risk that the drug would even get through Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approval. But, ultimately it did, and this year alone, the company will likely receive over $17 billion in revenue from it.
Wow. Then, they likely will make more profits next year.
And, the year after.
Why isn’t the government protecting us from such pharmaceutical price gouging? Where are the regulations? We need them.
Here’s the bitter irony.