Thursday, August 12, 2004

WE'RE ONLY IN IT FOR THE MONEY. David Frum on Kerry's plan for government purchase of cheap Candian scrip drugs:
...drug re-importation is a cheap and cynical non-solution to a real problem: the unfairness of asking Americans to pay the whole cost and more of new drugs while the rest of the world pays less. But it’s no kind of answer to cut prices in the US: In that case, innovation could disappear entirely. (emphasis added)
The scene: a high school chem lab in the Midwest.

TEACHER: Congratulations, Timmy, on your acceptance to Stanford! As my best student ever, I'm sure you'll make a great translational pharmacologist.

TIMMY: (exhaling a cloud of cigar smoke) What's in it for me?

TEACHER: I beg your pardon?

TIMMY: You heard me, cloth-ears. This Kerry mug wants to buy drugs on the cheap from Canada. That'll cut into Big Pharma's racket but good -- and then it's bye-bye, fat signing bonus from Eli Lilly.

TEACHER: But surely your interest in medicine grows from a desire to help your fellow man?

TIMMY: What put that in your nut? There just one reason anyone gets into the pharmacology game -- and that's the sweet do-re-mi. You think I spend my nights drawing time-concentration curves just to heal some poor sap in a charity ward? Harvard gave Otto Krayer his own private jet, for Chrissakes. I won't so much as pick up a beaker for less than six figures.

TEACHER: But Timmy, what will you do if not pharmacology?

TIMMY: (shrugs) A little of this, a little of that. I'm pretty handy with a shiv. I've had offers from the Sudanese government and JPMorgan Chase, but I'm keeping my options open. So go tell your highbrow friends to lay off Bush, or us pill-packers will cut off your flow of new life-giving drugs but pronto, get me?

TEACHER: (placing the back of his hand to his brow) My faith in the younger generation is shattered.

TIMMY: (aside) I guess now would be a bad time to tell him all his engineering prodigies are going to work for Halliburton.

(Aaaaaannd... scene.)

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