Holly a better question would be, why are the FDA regulations for the manufacture of generic drugs so convoluted that only one company bothers to manufacture a medically critical device like an epi-pen. Even for
To be factually correct, no one has to buy a patent or license to manufacture an auto-injector, and the drug compound is also patent free.
To your analogy regarding fire departments, Ive seen recent stories of volunteer fire departments who have refused to come to the aid of people who didn’t bother to pay their dues. Few if any of us can afford to work for free.
Back to our health care model, without a profit motive, no entity can afford to pony up the tens or hundreds of billions of dollars necessary to develop and test new drug treatments. Governments certainly don’t have the money. More importantly, the profits from previously developed compounds are necessary to finance every new drug, device or procedure. The forgotten dirty little secret is that for every ten drugs actually entered in insanely expensive drug trials, only one or two will ever make it to market, not to mention all the other compounds that never even reach the trial stage. Sure, a life saving chemo drug makes headlines when it costs $10K a month, but in reality, that $10K is covering the costs of developing 99 other compounds. If anything, our current patent model for drugs drives up costs. How? Because the patent clock begins when the drug is registered with the FDA at the beginning of the trial process, meaning four or five years of the patent window runs out before the company is allowed to make their first sale.
You speak of profit and the people who pursue it as evil. Is it evil to attempt to keep a business going, keep employees on the payroll, and keep providing products people need are want? Wouldn’t it be evil for a government to “regulate” drug prices, reducing the incentive to risk funds to develop new drugs? Would it be evil if this company was driven from the market, leaving people without an epi-pen? Recall here that ANY company on the planet can freely manufacture the drug and delivery system necessary for an epi-pen, and NO ONE DOES. Not even when the only supplier is supposedly price gouging and the market is apparent.
What I think is evil is the idea that someof our best and brightest could sacrifice twelve or fourteen years of their lives to become a doctor, and then others believe it’s entirely appropriate for a government to dictate to a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional the price they can charge for their services. Isn’t forcing one group of people to work for less simply because the rest of society benefits from it a form of slavery?
Going back to your fire department model, the original model was one of mutual aid. The people who paid the money as a group were the ones deriving the benefits. Our current insurance model works much the same way. People combine their resources to fund health care for all of them.
The flaw with any universal care model is reality that all the people working in health care, currently 20% of US annual GDP, will be subservient to the needs and desires of the rest of the population. Isn’t that evil on it’s face?
Read the British papers, or Canada. Doctors that are only allowed to work for the government and private practice of medicine is illegal. Where drug development is a much smaller business because national health care systems ration or disallow expensive drugs. Where some bureaucrat compares your expected remaining life against the cost of your treatment and makes live or die decisions. Where patients (and I’m not making this up) routinely die of dehydration because the staff is too busy to bring them a glass of water. Where people’s cancer progresses to stage 4 while they wait for an appointment. THAT is the banality of evil.