Obama's Dangerous Socialist Regulatory Environment

Discussion in 'Politics' started by pspr, May 31, 2013.

  1. pspr


    This problem isn't limited to the FDA but permeates the entire government regulatory apparatus from the EPA on down.

    Socialism: If you think only places like Venezuela and Cuba have shortages, think again. The Obama administration's regulatory blitz and ObamaCare costs have triggered "crisis"-level shortfalls right here in the U.S.

    The Signature Shortages Of Socialism — in America

    Shortages of 300 drugs, vitamins and trace elements have reached the highest levels ever recorded in the U.S., according to a report by Alexandra Robbins in the Washingtonian, "leading to complications usually only seen in the developing world."

    It's a direct result of the Food and Drug Administration's stepped-up harassment of makers of some of these lifesaving compounds — which has shut down 30% of U.S. manufacturing capacity in some specialties.

    Premature babies are particularly hard hit. The intravenous fluid nutrients called parenteral nutrition (PN), needed until their digestive systems fully develop, are seeing a hard regulatory clampdown — and, subsequently, shortages. The Washingtonian quotes medical personnel as saying U.S. babies have died for lack of simple nutrients such as calcium, zinc, lipids, protein, magnesium, sodium phosphate, copper, selenium, chromium, potassium phosphate and vitamin A that must be made in trace amounts for PN compounds.

    The FDA has denied its inspections and warning letters have anything to do with shortages of PN and various other drugs. But the Washingtonian found the shortages started in 2010, as the Obama administration's bureaucrats jacked up their warning letters of "violations" from 34 in 2009 to 60 in 2010 and then 48 in 2011. Instead of fighting the FDA bureaucracy, nearly a third of companies — and there are only five left — simply shut down production, going Galt.

    There's evidence the FDA knew its actions would trigger shortages as early as 2011, the report noted, but it did nothing.

    Pro-FDA sources have tried to blame "greedy" drugmakers, but their charges don't hold water because capacity is running at 100% in these five remaining plants. That raises the question as to why U.S. regulators make it nearly impossible for them to expand — or force them to wait years for FDA permission.

    Just as troubling, startups that turn profits on less-profitable product lines aren't picking up the slack because the regulatory barriers to entry are just too high.

    There's also bureaucratic shiftlessness. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which began investigating the matter in January, said bureaucrats sat on their hands rather than give fast feedback to companies that tried to fix production problems and restore supplies. The committee asked the FDA in March to turn over documents and appear at a briefing, but thus far, there have been no updates.

    As babies die from lack of simple nutrition, the FDA also continues to block U.S. access to international suppliers that could fill the gap while U.S. companies remain hamstrung, with the FDA claiming it's still "working on it."

    What stands out here is that these shortages are not the result of natural scarcity, nor do they ever occur in a truly or even moderately free market.

    These unconscionable shortages are the byproduct of an overbearing government that has strangled an important industry in red tape, delayed prospects for improvement, thrown its weight around and blamed its victims for the inevitable effects of its policies.

    If that sounds like Cuba or Venezuela, well, that's because it is. Incredibly, this Obama regulatory tsunami is merely a prelude, given that the implementation of ObamaCare is expected to make shortages even worse.

    Prices, according to a nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office letter to ranking House Budget Committee Rep. Paul Ryan, are set to rise for prescription drugs, because costs are expected to be shifted onto consumers, and manufacturers and importers of brand-name drugs will see new fees imposed on them.

    So in addition to scarcity, higher prices are in store.

    That doesn't occur in countries where there's a free market with a reasonable regulatory environment.

    The fact that there isn't one here is precisely why our country's medical system is starting to resemble Cuba's — including its shortages.