The other day I wondered why we kept seeing delays and shortages in the flu vaccine business. Today there was an interesting opinion piece that touched on this in Investor's Business Daily. Titled "Why The U.S. Isn't Prepared For Bird Flu," it was written by Sally Pipes, who is the president of the Pacific Research Institute.
She asks: "So why don't U.S. drug companies, which dominate the global medicine market, make vaccines?"
Her answers, in brief:
1) Excessive FDA screening
2) Vaccines are expensive to produce
3) Out-of-control lawsuits about vaccines scare manufacturers away
4) Government price controls limit profitability. ("The government now buys 57% of all childhood vaccines, forcing steep discounts on manufacturers.")
Now I understand.
They got in the way of supply and demand.