Mili Note: note that the links herein are affiliate links to a newsletter I am now editor of. This article is an excerpt from our last issue.
After a successful takeover of the American banking and automotive industries through bailouts, the U.S. government now appears ready to take over pharmaceuticals as well. Instead of direct bailouts, which angered the public, the plan this time is to quietly bail out Big Pharma by footing the bill for most of their research and development costs – by far the heaviest costs associated with patent medicines.
In the past couple of years, drug companies have scaled back their R&D funding because of cost setbacks and problems with recalls and legal costs. The companies are instead focusing on specific, accepted drugs and pushing to get the Food and Drug Administration to allow a broader accepted use for these pills to open their marketing to new sectors.
Many industry analysts are saying that the market for pharmaceuticals has been over-inflated and too heavily saturated and a scale back is required. A larger and larger chunk of pharma’s money is being spent on advertising rather than R&D now in order to keep the inflation happening. Most in the industry, however, realize that this is not sustainable and that things will have to be allowed to deflate. Cutting back research is a way to control that deflation.
Unless you’re in government. A tenet of bureaucracy is that it cannot shrink, it must continually grow or it will die. If drug companies scale back their production of new drugs, then bureaus like the FDA and the National Institutes of Health will also be required to scale back or show themselves irrelevant. To the bureaucrat, neither is an acceptable choice, so the third option is to increase relevance by creating new jobs for yourself.
Enter the NIH’s new National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. This complicated name is the title of a new center for government-funded drug research. They’re trying to get $1 billion in annual funding for the NCATS with the excuse that the poor economy means drug companies are scaling back and American health will be at risk.
The silent bailout comes from the stated purpose of the NCATS. According to the NIH’s statements on why NCATS is being considered, “..the process of drug discovery remains a challenging and risk laden endeavor. These opportunities and challenges have prompted the National Institutes of Health to propose formation of a new center focused on accelerating the development and delivery of new, more effective therapeutics.”
The proposed center is expected to, among other things, provide research and “incentives” (read: money) for those developing “small-molecule compounds” (aka drugs) into a full range of products. In other words, they are going to provide R&D for new drugs either directly or by paying for the work being done by Big Pharma.
And, just like the current system, this new system will completely ignore non-patentable remedies and cures and continue to vilify them as “alternatives” suitable only for the insane and unenlightened.
I guess if they can get away with controlling the automotive and banking industries, they must think it’s OK for them to take over everything to do with healthcare too. Right? After all, the sick care industry is the biggest money maker on the planet and has little incentive to actually make people well.
Which is why those who espouse natural medicine, nutrition-based health, and other so-called “alternatives” are the true members of the wellness industry that promotes real healthcare.