Wednesday, September 21, 2011

State-based Medical Care: Rx or Bust

It ain't just the MVNHS©:

"Swiss drug giant Roche Holding AG has stopped delivering its drugs for cancer and other diseases to some state-funded hospitals in Greece..."

Oh, the humanity! That evil, greedy Big Pharma, putting innocent lives at risk in favor of their obscene profits?

Wait, what?

Turns out, it's not so much greed as necessity:

"...some state-funded hospitals in Greece that haven't paid their bills."


But surely Greece is an outlier here, what with their well-publicized financial turmoil, right?

Um, not so much:

"Roche may need to adopt in Spain, as well. Some state-funded hospitals in Portugal and Italy have also fallen far behind on payments"

But I thought that state-run health care was more efficient and saved more money than our terrible private-sector system? And that folks got better care with fewer delays and hassles?

What's next?

That would be the newest form of healthcare delivery, self-serve:

"Patients at some hospitals now must take their prescriptions to a local pharmacy, and ... bring them back to the hospital to be administered"

Yikes! But surely this is an exceptional time, what with the global economy and all, right?

Guess again:

"There are hospitals "who haven't paid their bills in three or four years"

So this has been going on for over 4 years? Since before ObamneyCare© was even passed? But how could that be? That whole effort was based on the premise that our system was inferior to the European model, but now that turns out not to have been the case?

Okay, as terrible as this is, it's only one drug manufacturer, so things will start improving, right?


"Roche isn't the first pharmaceutical company to stop supplies to some Greek buyers. Denmark's Novo Nordisk S/A last year stopped shipping certain brands of insulin"

Those poor diabetics! Why would Big Pharma leave them twisting in the wind?

Hmm, maybe a clue here:

"Greece said it would cut the prices by more than a quarter."

Arbitrarily nationalize and then artificially reduce the price of a commodity? One wonders what they might have been thinking when they made that brilliant move.

Luckily for Greece, their national health care system is far superior to our version. Or maybe not:

"(C)ritics of the health-care system say it is bogged down in waste."

Ya don't say.
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