“California is going to make its own insulin. It’s simple,” promised Governor Gavin Newsome this month.
A government that can’t maintain a functioning electricity grid now plans to manufacture a complex biologic drug?
Piece of Cake
According to the WSJ, the governor says the state will spend $100 million to develop low-cost insulin and build an in-state manufacturing facility.
Well, actually, manufacturing insulin is a complicated process that even large drug makers struggle with. Biologic drugs such as insulin are complex and often made from living cells or tissue.
A Complicated Pharmaceutical Market?
Democrats love to attack Big Pharma for high insulin costs. They apparently don’t understand that the pharmaceutical market is complicated. For every $100 in spending on insulin in 2018, manufacturers received $46.73. The rest went to pharmacy benefit managers ($14.36), insurers ($10.40), pharmacies ($20.42) and wholesalers ($8.09), according to a study last year in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Insulin “Available to All”
Mr. Newsom wants to make insulin “available to all” at a price close to its costs.
That may be much more than what most patients currently pay for their insulin. Wait for the state’s costs to rise as it runs into manufacturing problems and delays. Building affordable housing in the state now costs more than $1 million per unit, and remember that bullet train from Wasco to nowhere that was supposed to cost $33 billion and is now estimated to cost $105 billion.
California would seem to have enough problems without trying to supplant the private drug market. Homelessness and crime have spiked. Its power grid is teetering. Families are fleeing public schools.
We could go on. Governments that attempt to do too much end up not doing anything well.
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