No one pushed harder than Mr. Kindler. The CEO made no fewer than five trips to the White House last year. He was the man prodding Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America head Billy Tauzin every step. He wrote an op-ed with the SEIU’s Mr. Stern demanding reform. He pressed the industry’s $150 million ad campaign promoting ObamaCare, rolled out with liberal activist groups.
Critics warned the legislation would lead to a government takeover and price controls. They warned Democrats would take the money and double-cross them. None of it fazed the industry, right up until ObamaCare imploded.
Mr. Kindler and Co. are left with the ashes. Having got this far (with Big Pharma’s help), Democrats are more desperate than ever to pass “something.” It won’t include any upside for drug companies. There is talk instead of “popular” stand-alone legislation, including reimportation, Medicare price controls, and slashing the industry’s 12-year exclusivity on biologics.
You really, really have to go read the entire piece. It is an object lesson in how to make a bad bet. A lot of the medical industry made a bad bet on this one. The drug companies – led by Pfizer and Kindler – really made a really bad one. He was never the one.
Free market supporters now have a heaven-sent opportunity to make some real changes – if they are smart, fast and willing to push their ideas. Corporations that supported the won stand a real chance of finding out that they backed the loser instead of the one. Or won, as may be.
Limit lawsuits, allow insurance sales across state lines, allow drug reimportation – allow the free market to work. Will this lead to lower profits for companies like Pfizer who backed a losing horse? Probably. No, certainly.
Gosh, I feel bad about that. Don’t you?