This morning Glenn took a call from a guy who has been working in the pharmaceutical industry for about fourteen years who wanted to discuss the overregulation of the pharmaceutical industry. Drug companies that spend millions and millions on R&D to create drugs that will save lives have been forced, through bloated regulations and other attacks that they’re ability to produce enough medicine has been reduced. What did Glenn think?
The caller claimed that since 2008, when President Obama was elected, the pharmaceutical industry has lost up to 250,000 jobs. According to the caller the industry lost around 90,000 jobs under Clinton, but those jobs were mostly in sales and marketing. This caller told Glenn that, “it’s the first time in the industry that they have been laying off M.D., Ph.D., and scientific researchers. Companies have gotten completely out of research and development, completely out of manufacturing.”
“What’s happening is the pharmaceutical companies, in defense of that to stay afloat, close their facilities,” the called explained.
The caller continued, “You know, in the old days, Pfizer would have a plant, and they'd make one drug, or you know, Johnson & Johnson in that plant, but now, they use contract facilities or generic plants. And recently we had a plant in Ohio that we got 120 different drugs for around 37 different companies. When the FDA regulates those facilities, you know, they'll shut down that plant if something is not right. Well, they shut this plant down, or, you know, for some reason around the line or you know, employees on the line. Well, they were only making one drug that day because they alternate days or months that they make different drugs, and then what happened was the FDA came in and said this is all wrong. They closed down the entire plant, and it's been closed since November 11th. And it's closed for the rest of the year. Well, it's not like you can make widgets. You just can't pick up and say let's move it over to this plant and make these drugs. You can't do that the FDA has to approve where you're going to move it. Then they have to come in and go through the facility.”
While the FDA may make it hard for companies to produce needed medicines, the caller argued that when a panic is created by the threat of a disease like swine flu, the government has no issue pushing through a vaccine.
“All of a sudden, Swine Flu came out of nowhere. And they were all like, ‘it’s going to kill us.’ ‘It’s an epidemic,’ the caller told Glenn.
“35,000 to 45,000 people die every year of the regular flu. We had less than 11 deaths to the Swine Flu,” he said.
While Swine Flu was rushed through the approval process, the FDA did still not approve drugs that had been for a significantly longer time.
While Stu that the FDA was very inefficient, he pointed out that we need to be prepared to tackle a large, contagious disease, and that we have to take that seriously. At the time, swine flu seemed to be such a case.
However, Glenn acknowledged that the government has so much control of the industry now that they essentially get to dictate what does and does not take priority.
Glenn gave the example of the groundbreaking new cancer treatment that MD Anderson is working on. “So you have these great drugs that, for instance, we’re trying to get into human testing now the incredible, incredible device from MD Anderson that will kill all cancer,” Glenn explained.
Glenn has been involved in helping raise money for a new type of cancer treatment that is making breakthroughs.
Glenn continued, “They have already done it in animal experiments. All they have to do is get it to human.”
That’s where the FDA creates the roadblock.
“They won’t let you,” Stu said.