Mission accomplished, I guess

Years of the left’s vilifying pharmaceutical companies are finally paying dividends: The pharmaceutical companies are starting to cut back on research.

Now Megan McArdle suggests that the fault lies more on the cost side of the companies’ cost-benefit equation. I don’t deny that the increasing difficulty in making progress plays an important role, but you have to take both sides of the ledger into account.

Drug research is paid for by the windfall from the rare success, and our government’s policy has been to make that windfall much more uncertain. Mind you, not by making the success itself less likely (although that could be happening too), but by limiting companies’ confidence that they will be able to financially exploit their successes. I’m not talking (just) about Obamacare; this has been going on for decades.

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