by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
For years, my scientist brother Tom was the nonpolitical Stossel.
I defended free markets on TV, and he studied blood at Harvard and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Mom asked me when I’d get a “real job” like his.
Then the crusade against capitalism reached his world.
Medical “journalists” demanded that corporations distance themselves from medical research. They’ll bias the results, “put profits before people” and sell dangerous goods.
Tom didn’t notice this “conflict of interest crusade” until he joined the scientific advisory board of a biotech company and learned how difficult it is to bring medical innovation to market. Now he’s furious about what he calls “pharma-phobia.”
He says criticism of medical-industry cooperation “is a mixture of moralistic bullying, opinion unsupported by empirical evidence, speculation, simplistic and distorted interpretations …”
You get the idea. At dinner, we tell him, “You’re probably right, but shut up now.”
But he shouldn’t shut up. Trying to take money out of medicine will deprive us of the very innovation we want. Drug companies are the ones with the resources to create cures. It’s insane to limit their access to medical research.