Here is Bernie Sanders discussing the one issue that allegedly brings Americans together with former comedian Stephen Colbert:
We talk about being a divided nation. In many ways, that’s true. But, in some ways, we are absolutely united. For example, we all hate the drug companies. pic.twitter.com/ZbSpq05MVY
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) March 3, 2022
I don’t hate Big Pharma. It’s done more to help mankind in the past two years than all the socialist and social-justice initiatives have in their entire histories. Drugs help us alleviate pain, repel disease, mitigate depression, enjoy intimacy, live longer, and live that life more actively. It has transformed numerous once-deadly ailments that might have killed little Red Diaper Baby Bernie into historical footnotes. And one day, in the not-too-distant future, some pharma company will invent a drug to help people with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s or effectively treat lung cancer or cure autoimmune diseases. Bernie might one day benefit from theses gifts of a capitalist system.
It’s been politically fashionable to criticize Big Pharma. (There is no “small pharma” because drug companies have immense capital expenditures and take on giant risks; the average cost of producing a new product is just short of $3 billion. You don’t bring a new drug to market by starting a company and working part-time in your garage.) And these days that anger has been ratcheted up over the vaccine wars. Like all sectors, pharma lobbies Congress. It attempts to gain unfair advantages and rent-seeks. Some companies in the industry are well run and some are corrupt. But Covid-vaccine mandates aren’t implemented by drug companies, they’re implemented by government.
It should also be noted, contra Sanders, that trust in the pharmaceutical sector has likely gone up for the past few years. According to Ipsos, it is far more trusted by the public than government or media — two of the three least-trusted sectors along with social media.
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