Sunday, March 13, 2005

Well, I'll say it

Via Crooked Timber we read that researchers in the UK and Canada have come up with a promising approach for curing Type I diabetes. Does this settle the question as to whether having a single payer health care system stifles innovation? Daniel at Crooked Timber is unreasonably charitable in his reply:

The temptation is almost overpowering to speculate that the reason this particular procedure was developed outside the USA might have something to do with the fact that curing a disease with a single operation doesn’t produce a lifelong dependence on patented pharmaceuticals. But this temptation probably ought to be resisted; it’s only a single case.

Well, I don't feel the need to equivocate. There are certain aspects of providing health care that are poorly suited to a free market approach and finding cheap cures for diseases is one of them. The sooner we recognize this the better.


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