|"They say drug prices are too high? Shove the prices down their throats!"|
The fearless defenders of the right to life of fertilized eggs, blastulas, gastrulas, and fetuses have new reason to rejoice at the appointment of right wing justices to the United Stated Supreme Court.
The right-to-life-loving justices have just delivered a message to the sick and the dying: Be sick and die. We don’t give a damn. We have obscene drug company profits to protect. Not to mention the right of rich corporations to pillage the little guy.
vs. conservative greed
All of the above emerged when an attempt by the State of Maryland to regulate the outrageous prices of generic and out-of-patent drugs — drugs that help sick and dying people — was rejected first by an appeals court and then effectively by the so-called conservative Supreme Court.
Reports from Reuters and other news media, this one for example, say the Supremes refused to review the case, which was originally brought by a drug trade association representing manufacturers of generic drugs, and decided in their favor by the appeals court.
The drug makers took deep umbrage at a Maryland law that would prevent, for example, companies like Mylan and Turing from hiking the prices of drugs whose patent has expired (or their generic equivalents) to stratospheric levels — within Maryland's borders.
This would have undone, in Maryland only, a practice that presents many desperately ill people with a simple proposition: Your money (if you have enough) or your life.
Pay up or die
Just to remind you of what we’re talking about here, Turing raised the price of Daraprim, an anti-parasitic drug that was keeping AIDS victims and others alive from $13.50 a pill to $750 a pill. And yes, you'll need a lot more than one pill.
And Mylan, raised the price of EpiPen, an injection device that prevents allergy sufferers and others from going into anaphylactic shock and dying, raised the price of its product from $100 for a two-pack in 2009 to $608 in 2016.
Martin Shkreli, the former head honcho of Turing, is currently blogging, not always completely coherently, from a prison cell, where he belongs. He still has, according to his blog, 30 months left to serve on his sentence. The sentence is for an unrelated or loosely-related crime. And no, I’ll be damned if I’ll voluntarily link to his blog. Ever.
Heather Bresch, the CEO of Mylan, is less likely to do time, for any reason. That's because it’s who you’re related to, and not basic human decency or ethics that counts. Bresch’s father is U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, who also flacks against controls on global warming for coal interests. He says he’s a Democrat. Sometimes our tent is a little too big to suit my personal taste.
Maryland tries to
save its citizens.
Lotsa luck on that.
Remember, the awful, unconscionable, outrageous thing that Maryland attempted to do was to regulate prices for generic drugs within its own borders. That law was struck down by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of appeals last spring on the grounds that controlling prices in Maryland would somehow regulate trade outside of Maryland’s borders.
I’m not going to get tangled in the weeds concerning the finer points of law here. Feel free to go here and read the technical details until your eyes cross, which I can almost guarantee they will.
Suffice it to say that the convoluted argument in favor of raping and pillaging sick people is ridiculous, and the legal justification is contradicted by other drug industry practices around the nation.
But your Conservative Supreme Court in action refused to review the lower court’s ruling, much less to change it.
So much for the right to life when it stands in the way of making a quick and sleazy buck.
Boof on that, Mr. Justice.