Unfortunately, sadly, heartbreakingly so, there is a dire shortage of medication to treat Childhood Leukemia. … All five pharmaceutical companies that make the injection drug methotrexate, which treats acute lymphoblastic leukemia by slowing the growth of cancer cells, have either slowed and stopped manufacturing of the drug, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The companies have cited “high demand” or “manufacturing delays” as reasons for the shortage.

Where have we seen this before? In the oil industry. “Shut down that refinery until the price rises sky high.”

We have a shortage of life giving medication, one that is isolated to children, one that will tug at the heart-stings of parents.

There is no shortage of raw materials. There is no shortage of manufacturing space. There is no shortage of labor. There is only a shortage, because 5 major pharmaceuticals, all at the same time, chose “not to make” that certain drug….

Now according to Dr. Michael Link, pediatric oncologist and president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, some hospital pharmacies have reported having only a couple weeks of supply left.

Which means that kids start dying in 14 days…….

To counter this, President Obama on October 31, signed an executive order, instructing the Food and Drug Administration to broaden its reporting of potential drug shortages, expedite regulatory reviews that can help prevent shortages, and examine whether potential shortages have led to price gouging. The drug shortage has compromised or delayed care for some patients and may have led to otherwise preventable deaths.

This caused Christopher W. Hansen, president of the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network, to applaud the signing of the order, saying in a statement that it would “allow government, industry, providers and the public to more systematically analyze and understand the causes of specific drug shortages as they occur, and to develop real-time solutions that are also needed to address the acute problems that cancer patients live with daily.”

But the order does not go far enough.

While the FDA can oversee imports of drugs that are in short supply, it cannot regulate how much a company can make. In fact, manufacturers are not required to report shortages to the FDA.

Isn’t that what Romney touts? Isn’t that Gingrich’s modus operandi, Isn’t that what Santorum lavishs, WE NEED LESS GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION???

Don’t all of them recommend that government needs to slim down, cut back, and get off the backs of business in general to create jobs?

WELL…..

Here is a direct case of that policy in action. There is no government on the backs of Pharmaceuticals. They are completely independent, private, not regulated, and free to decided what drugs to make, and when to make them….

“Oh gee, let’s see… we make 89 cents per pill on our placebos…. and only 64 cents on each bottle of methotrexate…. Let’s close down the meth lab, and instead, make placebos instead….”

Mitt Romney’s philosophy in action…

Because of it, there is now a shortage of highly necessary medications… Ones that have to be had, to maintain life…

(There is no end to the number of Sudafed knockoffs on drugstore shelves)….

Just a look at the top ten prescribed medicines in America, only one, Lipitor, is still under patent. All the others, have lapsed into generic….

The apparent problem is rather simple. In order to chase after profits for your stockholders, for the analysts of CNBC to mention your stock on their show, … you have to sell the top 15 drugs helping 100% of the population, and the 4000 or 5000 people needing your specialty drugs, are simply sick with the wrong disease…

Remember the death panel controversy made up and disseminated by Michelle Bachmann? Well, now, we see the real death panel….

“I’m sorry (not). I know he is your child; I know we have the medicine to keep him normal, I know he will die if he doesn’t get it; I know we could easily makes some in less than 5 days; I know we could have never run short if we had wanted; I know all these things. But, we arbitrarily choose not to make it; your son is out of luck and will be dead in less than two weeks…”

Why?

Because you voted for Republicans…. Seriously, if you hadn’t, what would have happened?

In an all Democratic Congress, when this shortage was brought up, legislation would be passed levying extensive fines if the drugs did not reach market by a certain date. The price would include only a ten percent markup. Meaning the pharmaceutical company would not lose on the proposition. How do I know this would work? It was the law of the land for 70 years, until Republicans began selling the concept that letting the market place settle everything, and the FDA got gutted.

Interestingly,…. due to the shortage, black market drugs have materialized…. As soon as a drug hits a shortage level, unreliable distributors pop up offering supplies of suspect origin at highly inflated prices, said Denver based Porter Adventist Hospital pharmacy director, Ryan Stice.

“I have a story about one of these vendors calling on a Friday night, lying to a staff member to get approval for shipment, and sending their products for Saturday delivery to avoid our normal safeguards on bogus shipments and invoicing,” Stice said.

Premier Healthcare Alliance, which published data on drug price-grouging practices last week, said nearly 2,000 sales offers from “gray market” distributors amounted to an average price markup of 650 percent for drugs used to treat cancer and other critical illnesses, as well as sedate patients for surgery, that have been in short supply in recent months.

The highest markup was for the drug lebetalol, used to treat high blood pressure. Lebetalol usually sells for $25.90, but “gray market” offers priced it at $1,200.

When pressed, it appears there is little knowledge over where these “grey market” drugs come from. Most speculate that those drugs which are currently being dispensed on the “grey market” come with a majority of their kickback returning to the pharmaceutical companies. It was as if someone in the pharmaceutical business figured out: why sell this drug for $25 dollars when we can create a shortage and sell it for $1200 instead?

“Greed is good”, if you remember the movie Wall Street.

Ironically, the similarities between both Mitt Romney’s hairstyle and philosophy and those in that movie, are extremely uncanny.

If it is your son who is dying, obviously the market place is not where we want to take health-care. Their death panels are far more crooked than any other panel that would occur if we had any other system of medical insurance.

One must wonder why in any debate, not one panalist has yet brought up the question…Mr. Republican, about your market philosophy…. when it comes to cancer drugs and others that are necessary for life,… there seems to be a problem….”

Then follow up with: “No, it appears you’re wrong there, Mr. Republican Candidate. The obvious solution is for America not to vote for any Republican candidate…”

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