WaPo Blames Free Market for Flu

The media has just gone mad. We’re talking “Lock’um up because they are running thru the streets in their underwear claiming they’re Teddy Roosevelt” mad.

Got the Flu? Blame the Free Market

Couldn’t get a flu shot this year?

When the flu hits and you’re confined to bed, bath and not very far beyond, remember that you’re suffering from the free-market flu.

The reason there’s not enough flu vaccine to go around this year is that Americans have decided, consciously or not, that they don’t want the government to get too deeply involved in health care.

To give you an idea just how insane this theory is. Even Kevin Drum (!!!) admits it is primarily caused by the cost of FDA (duh – government) compliance.

The FDA has a famously tight regulatory regime, made even tighter in the late 90s, and as a result the United States has only two approved manufacturers of flu vaccine while Britain has half a dozen. … The bottom line is that there are other flu vaccine manufacturers besides Chiron and Aventis, but they don’t sell into the U.S. market because the cost of complying with FDA regulations is higher than the narrow profits they could expect to make from selling flu vaccine.

…out of all the reasons on offer to explain why the United States relies on only two main suppliers for its flu vaccine supply (small market, low price, risky business, lawsuit worries), it’s probably FDA regulatory hurdles that explain the most.

We don’t have a free market so the whole theory, by definition, can’t be true.
This might be the most insane headline of the year.

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5 Comments

  1. Mark J November 1, 2004
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  4. Rich November 1, 2004
  5. Henry November 1, 2004