Romney’s Pharmaceutical Mishap

Mitt Romney (who won Wyoming), is still a serious contender.  Which makes his gaffe about the Pharmaceutical companies such a telling one.  McCain had just finished an assault on pharmaceutical companies when Romney jumped to their defense, mentioning their laurels.  Apparently the pharma companies are working to make the world a better place.  Some surely are.  But the problem Romney has not addressed is multifaceted.

Pharmaceutical companies price gouge.  This is no secret, and the fact that Americans end up paying more for the same medicine as our neighbors to the north is old hat, politically.  But it is still a serious issue, and Romney tripped over it.

However it is the nature of the solutions these corporations fund and market that candidates need to start addressing.  The problem is that treatments make more money than cures, and there is a real financial incentive for companies to invest in treatments over cures.  Not all the time, of course.  One may consider potential lost profits an investment in PR.  A good compromise for pharma companies is to fund research into vaccines.  Not as profitable as treatments, but still a fair shot more profitable than any cure might be.

Romney’s stance is a predictable one.  He is running as a captain of industry, and must surely paint himself its tireless defender, as he once did when running in Massachusetts.  Unlike many of his positions and promises, this one likely comes from something resembling his heart.  President Romney would likely pay special attention to the interests of industry if he obtains the office.

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