• COMMENTARY: How Do You Like Your Drugs?

    Drugs are always better when they’re cheaper. Whether you’re a pothead in Colorado looking for your Rocky Mountain High or you’re living the suburban dream and your kid wakes up tugging on his ear and screaming, drugs are better when they’re cheaper.

    Have you ever rolled up to the drive up window of some 24-hour pharmacy at 2 in the morning looking like a coke-head jonesing for a fix? I have. More than once.

    Hair a mess. Jammie pants on. Slippers, no socks. Blood shot eyes. Driving like a chauffeur with a crying kid in the back seat in mom’s arms. No…the kid is not in a car seat. Ear infections will wreck your world when you’re a kid.

    An advisory note to fathers with young children. If you’ve not figured this out, listen up. I’ve been married 20+ years and we’ve raised four little humans for most of that time. I don’t know everything, but I’ve learned a few things. Here’s some solid advice. When you’re wife wakes you up and says, “We’re going to the emergency room.” You glance at your clock and realize that it is in the middle of a Saturday night and you were sleeping soundly, it’s not advisable to say anything remotely close to, “Can’t we wait till Monday morning when the doctor’s office is open?” She will light your skin on fire with her mutant mother powers you didn’t know she had and you’ll wish you had just grabbed a cup of coffee and said, “Let’s go honey. Anything for little Timmy.” If you fail, and ask the first question, she’ll know you’re so cheap that you put your own child’s health behind the cost of an emergency room visit. You’re doomed. Even if you think things like, “In the olden days kids just had to tough it out”…for the love of all things holy, don’t say that out loud near your wife or you might need your own treatment at the ER!

    Just grab your slippers, keys, and hop in the mini-van. So after about two hours of the ER freak show, your mid-twenties intern doc finally gives you a script for a miracle cure antibiotic. You then proceed to drive across town the absolute opposite way from your house to get the wonder med. Finally, you reach the drive up window. Then it happens. The drug dealer, I mean pharmacist, asks you if you want to pay $11 per pill for the name brand or if you’d rather pay $2 per pill for generic? Your whole attitude changes. Your voice wobbles a bit as you ask, “Is the generic just as good as the name brand?” Due diligence is important, remember your wife is in the back seat.

    The drug dealer replies that generic is A-OK! You smile and say, “Yeah, I’ll take the cheap drugs!” It’s a great feeling to stick it to Big Pharma. Generic prices rock! You pull over and dose the little crying monkey in the parking lot and head for home, victorious over ridiculously priced meds and all in time to make it home and sleep for the remaining ½ hour of darkness.

    Well apparently, Big Pharma wants to deny you that small victory. Through a bunch of back room deals and trickery with patent law, Big Pharma can keep raking in the big profits. I personally have nothing against big profits. In fact, I love the idea of making big money. However, I jump ship when that profit comes from crony capitalism, not true capitalism. Because true capitalism drives the price of good products down through competition. Trying to circumvent that normal process by using the government as a weapon is wrong. I recently read an interesting piece by Brian McNicoll in The Hill titled Congress Should Have Reasonable Patent Reform. I know that doesn’t sound very interesting, but at 2 in the morning and you are about to spend big money for name brand versus generic it gets interesting.

    Apparently, Big Pharma uses the patent laws to keep their best selling drugs from going generic. They have a bevy of lawyers and a gaggle of lobbyists to protect their game rigging exploits, but the government has a chance to wreck their chess board and level the playing field.

    Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R – Virginia) has introduced a bill called the Innovations Act. It is designed to cut down on the number of frivolous patent lawsuits that do nothing except run up the price of the product and harm the consumer. Encourage Bob to push hard and get it passed. Remember what it’s like at 2 in the morning? Don’t let Big Pharma take your small victory away!

    For anything to change it will take more than a few congressmen and senators with a strong spine and a will to return America back to her true self…a republic founded on freedom not crony capitalism.

    S.C. Sherman

    Senior Editor

    Steve Sherman is an author, popular radio commentator, and former Iowa House candidate. His articles have appeared nationally in both print and online for Townhall, Human Events, Clash Daily, Washington Times, Washington Examiner, Red Alert Politics, Forbes, NRATV and others. All of his novels including his most recent tome, Lone Wolf Canyon, a modern day western that infuriates the left and all "Snowflakes," are available here.

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