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WaPo Blames Free Market for Flu

The media has just gone mad. We're talking "Lock'um up because they are running thru the streets in their underwear claiming they're Teddy Roosevelt" mad.

Got the Flu? Blame the Free Market

Couldn't get a flu shot this year?

When the flu hits and you're confined to bed, bath and not very far beyond, remember that you're suffering from the free-market flu.

The reason there's not enough flu vaccine to go around this year is that Americans have decided, consciously or not, that they don't want the government to get too deeply involved in health care.

To give you an idea just how insane this theory is. Even Kevin Drum (!!!) admits it is primarily caused by the cost of FDA (duh - government) compliance.

The FDA has a famously tight regulatory regime, made even tighter in the late 90s, and as a result the United States has only two approved manufacturers of flu vaccine while Britain has half a dozen. ... The bottom line is that there are other flu vaccine manufacturers besides Chiron and Aventis, but they don't sell into the U.S. market because the cost of complying with FDA regulations is higher than the narrow profits they could expect to make from selling flu vaccine.
...out of all the reasons on offer to explain why the United States relies on only two main suppliers for its flu vaccine supply (small market, low price, risky business, lawsuit worries), it's probably FDA regulatory hurdles that explain the most.

We don't have a free market so the whole theory, by definition, can't be true.
This might be the most insane headline of the year.


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Comments (5)

My girlfriend's sister work... (Below threshold)

My girlfriend's sister works with terminally ill children... children who, if given the flu, would surely die. She has to be real careful about her own health, so as not to transfer anything to the children. But she can't get a flu vaccine, even though it would be paid for by her employers, because she isn't over 65. FREE MARKET MY ASS!

Nahh, Mark J, the people wh... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Nahh, Mark J, the people who were/are at most risk got the vaccine. Evidently, despite her precarious situation, your sister wasn't AS MUCH AT RISK as others.

It's been limited but available to those most at risk nationwide.

Blame Kerry: he and other ... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Blame Kerry: he and other Senators voted to OFF SHORE the lab work for the flu vaccine. Among other things.

Is this Flu epidemic real? ... (Below threshold)
Rich:

Is this Flu epidemic real? The way the country and the press is going on about it,you would think we need to rename it the Plague. I have maybe gotten the flu once...I am not sure. I had a severe cold a few years ago which I made worse by a five day drinking binge(hey..it was new years in Key West). I have never had a flu shot. I work in a hospital in xray. I am in constant contact with sick people. I agree the old,young and weakened people need every advantage..no arguments there. I just do not see why everyone is freaking out so much over it.

Rich

The thing is, most people c... (Below threshold)
Henry:

The thing is, most people confuse the common cold with the flu. Someone gets sick and they automatically assume flu. I have been bed-ridden with cold/sinus symptoms. No fever or anything weird. I just have certain allergies and my sinus goes insane. Otherwise I'm healthy as a clam and the flu has never taken me. The worst I've ever had is strep-throat (man that was killer, every time I tried to move my finger it felt like my finger was 50 times as big).




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