Thursday, October 14, 2004

Why the "Market" Shouldn't Have a Hand in Health Care

Here is the Republicans' beloved "market" (WSJ - subscription) doing its thing in health care:

Florida's attorney general, responding to complaints that some suppliers of flu vaccine are raising prices amid the severe shortage of shots, filed a lawsuit alleging that a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., drug distributor attempted to sell the vaccine for as much as 10 times its normal price.

The lawsuit comes amid a scramble across the country to find suddenly scarce flu shots before they run out.


In a survey by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, more than half of 677 hospital pharmacists said they had been contacted during the past week by distributors offering flu vaccine at four to 10 times the regular price, the trade group said. Some pharmacists reported that distributors were charging at least $800 for a 10-dose vial of flu vaccine [normal price is $63 to $85 a vial - ed.]. More than 80% of the pharmacists in the survey said they wouldn't buy the vaccine at inflated prices, even though three-fourths said they don't have as many doses as they need.

No comments: