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Report: Drug Shortages Hit Highest Levels in a Decade - Nobody Is Safe

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There are few things Democrats count on more to win elections than the general public’s lack of economic literacy.

That way, left-wing politicians can continue to dangle cash, lower prices and other financial promises in front of voters’ faces — they’ll say “If you vote for me, you’ll get it all for free.”

But, to combine two wise old expressions, there is no such thing as a free lunch; instead, to pay for these “free” gifts, politicians rob Peter to pay Paul.

In other words, it’s never, ever as simple or clean-cut as the Democrats make it out to be.

This has certainly proven to be the case with medical price controls, a policy proudly touted — and aggressively instituted — by the Biden administration.

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One result of Team Biden’s schemes? There have been rampant drug shortages.

In fact, according to a June report from the United States Pharmacopeia, an independent nonprofit “focused on building trust in the supply of safe, quality medicines,” these shortages hit a decade-high 125 at the end of 2023.

These shortages are also lasting longer than they used to. The report found that the average drug shortage in 2020 lasted two years, whereas the average duration now is over three years.

Over half of these shortages are for “generic sterile injectable medicines,” i.e. EpiPens and drugs of that nature.

Would these shortages go away under a pro-business president?

But what on Earth could be causing these shortages?

As beloved economist Thomas Sowell puts it in his seminal work “Basic Economics,” shortages are a price-created phenomenon.

That is to say, if prices were left alone for the relevant market forces to manage, shortages never occur.

“Politically, price controls are always a tempting ‘quick fix’ for inflation, and certainly easier than getting the government to cut back on its own spending that is often behind inflation,” Sowell wrote.

“Some people use the price-controlled goods or services more generously than usual because of the artificially lower price and, as a result, other people find that less than usual remains available to them.”

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When President Joe Biden signed into law the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act,” it instituted a series of “negotiated” price caps on numerous prescription drugs.

Back in August of 2023, Reason Magazine’s Ronald Bailey predicted the IRA would have a “rob Peter to pay Paul” effect, writing “While the new price controls will make some drugs cheaper in the short run, Americans will be sicker and deader in the long run than they otherwise would have been.”

If the Biden administration and other politicians truly want to ensure that everyone has access to the drugs they need, they should immediately suspend all drug-related price controls.

They should loosen and/or eliminate as many medical industry regulations as they can within reason in order to foster more competition in the industry.

That competition would lead to more innovation, new businesses and newer, cheaper medicines.

But, as too many of us already know, most politicians — certainly most Democrats — don’t actually care about whether or not you get your medication.

All they care about is staying in power. Offering constant price cuts and free handouts, regardless of the consequences, is a good way to do so.


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Michael wrote for a number of entertainment news outlets before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter. He now manages the writing and reporting teams, overseeing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Michael Austin graduated from Iowa State University in 2019. During his time in college, Michael volunteered as a social media influencer for both PragerU and Live Action. After graduation, he went on to work as a freelance journalist for various entertainment news sites before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter.

Since then, Michael has been promoted to the role of Manager of Writing and Reporting. His responsibilities now include managing and directing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Birthplace
Ames, Iowa
Nationality
American
Education
Iowa State University
Topics of Expertise
Culture, Faith, Politics, Education, Entertainment




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