I think I was wrong about something.

Not that long ago, I wrote this:
I think Megan McArdle is very smart.
I may, perhaps, have been wrong about that.

McArdle opposes health care reform, largely based on the premise that reforming health care would lead to a dramatic loss in profits for the pharmaceutical industry. (I mentioned this recently during my conversation over at Ordinary Gents, as well.) I have seen her write that a drop in profits of 80% could be expected were health care reform to pass. Being as it were that she is an economics blogger, and I am not, I kind of took it on faith that her statistic was based on something other than hearsay.


Turns out, she wasn't so much writing about a real number, and more about a possible future situation based largely on stuff she had pieced together. (Hat tip Isaac Chotiner.) So, in reality, she opposes health care reform largely on the grounds that it might stifle innovation on the part of the pharmaceutical industry based on speculation that has no numbers to back it up.

I regret my error, and will take all due steps in the future to avoid similar mistakes.

Update: On the other hand, there is this.


  1. Yes, exactly, I mean, what could possibly go wrong in a Federal reorganization of Big Pharma? Why, this is as much a no-brainer as repealing Glass-Steagall.

  2. *rubbing throbbing bulge between eyes*

    John, can you please refer me to your source on that whole plan to "Federal[ly] reorganiz[e]" Big Pharma? I seem to have missed it, here on my world.

  3. Your correction is appreciated.

  4. Dan, there are at least 535 different plans on Capitol Hill besides the President's... wait, the President hasn't actually submitted a plan, and there were, what, 6 different House-Senate compromise bills floating when we last left our Representatives desperate to pass anything that said Healthcare before the common people could read the bill. I mean, we all know they would fix the problems, just like they did with the CPSIA.

    All plans I am aware of touted the fact that Big Pharma would be forced to deal with a Federal monopsony for a large fraction of their sales. A monopsony eager to drive down prices to save the Feds serious money. That would seem to be to be a Federal reorganization of Big Pharma, no? Big Pharma thought so, so much that they were willing to pay hundreds of millions in Danegeld to get a commitment for an $80B cap on their "contribution" to the healthcare cause (not that the President felt any actual obligation to honor any agreement his people worked out).

  5. gj, again with the utter stupidity. Get your head out of your ass and realize there is more than one country in the world. US drug companies sell their drugs all of the world, so you have the rest of the world, plus the private sector in the US, some monopsony you braindead schmuck. And you have utterly ignored that the compromise plan worked out by Obama will not (I emphasize NOT) negotiate at medicare type rates. There are many liberals who are furious at them for this, I am not. Although gj I must admit I am surprised you knew such a word existed, it must be something you read at "Annrandisgod.com"

    There is only one reservation I have and that is allowing for the reimportation of drugs from places like Mexico, etc. It is true the US, and the western industrialized nations, bear the brunt of the costs of research and development, and they pass these costs onto the local market, selling the drugs at retail cost (minus the r&d markup, etc.) in the third world. Reimportation would then drive up costs in the third world as the drug companies would be forced to raise the price to outside markets to make up the difference. This is why I accept Obama's compromise with big pharm. not to set it at Medicare rates. Think of it as a charity to the third world.

    see gj, this is how you contribute to a discussion, not recycled adhominems from the lunatic right. (gov't. reorginization of big pharm? so predictable and boring)


  6. Charo, you really should look up the definition of 'monopsony' before going off about how other countries existing means a national single payer system won't have a monopsony on drug purchasing.

    I'm sure the compromise plan negotiated by Pres. Obama will be just as binding as his negotiated $80B Pharma "cap." Which is to say, he'll go back on his word as soon as it is convenient for him to do so.

  7. As per latest estimates available, the worldwide pharma market size is estimated to be upwards of US$ 680 Billion. The global pharmaceutical market is forecast to grow to US$897 billion in 2011, an equivalent CAGR of 6.9% over the next five years. The US pharmaceutical market recorded sales of $279bn in 2007, a 3.9% increase over 2006. The top 10 brands of the US market represented 14.4% of total market value in 2007.
    Out of this Revenues from Medicare are expected to be $724 billion between 2006 and 2015.

    So out of a worldwide market of over 9 trillion dollars the US government will be involved in about 8% of purchases so again, some monopsony.
    And who the hell is talking about single payer? nice straw man you jackass. Yes, 8% is a nice size, but US pharm. companies sell to other countries most of which in fact do have single payer. I have not seen them abandon those markets. Beyond that, the US government can save taxpayer dollars by negotiating with big pharm, some of which are located in Europe and Asia, why would you want to pay full fare? Are you anti-taxpayer? Even in the US domestic market, the projections are only about 20% of total market that the US will purchase. Again, that is not a monopsony you braindead schmuck. Monopsony is 100%, 20% is less than 100%. Go back to first grade.

    You see, I used statistics and facts to knock you on your ass. Another TKO for me. Anyway, thanks for pushing me to do some research, I knew I would be right, of course, but the facts are interesting in their own right. Try researching something before you write sometime (oh, wait, this is gj I am writing to, pulling things out of your ass is your style)

    Still undefeated and untouched against the assfly john I remain eternally


  8. Charo, you are truly a legend in your own mind. If it makes you feel better, rant on, but you aren't making sense. Seriously, dude, you aren't.

  9. no gj, not a legend in my own mind, just someone who always easily defeats you. I notice you didn't even bother to dispute any of my facts and figures, instead you just claim incomprehension. Hey, comprehend this, your opinions are wrong and based pretty much on ignorance and snark.
    And you use the word dude? Really? Dude? How adolescent of you.

    Give it up dude, or dudester, or duderino (in case you are not into the whole brevity thing)
    Why don't you get a job? Do you even have a job? I have been pretty much retired since the age of 35 (on my own dime, no trust fund for me). This is why I have time to crush you.
    I hate to say it, but the things you write here are pretty evil (like intentionally fabricating quotes then claim it was a paraphrase whose meaning is far worse than what was actually said) This is why I delight in thoroughly wiping the floor with you, because you are a cancer that is infecting the body politic.
    And the wonderful thing is I always (ALWAYS) win. Come on, tell me when you have ever come close to winning an argument? You can't. If Satan chose you to be one of his little bitches, I must admit he is scraping at the bottom of the barrel. Show you are not evil, admit you were wrong in your quote. Remember, pride goes before the fall, and boy do you fall a lot around here.

    And the crowd goes wild as assflyjohn is down by knockout, look at him wimper and snivel on the canvas. I remain your eternal better


  10. thanks, Unc. it amuses me to no end.

    I have a good friend who always listens to Rush, and I always eviscerate him, but it is all in good fun. He doesn't mind it since he doesn't take it at all seriously. Personally, he is a wonderful guy, his politics are just off the wall.
    I really don't mind anyones politics provided they act in good faith, it is the bad faith of gj that shows how unctuous he is.