Wednesday, August 04, 2004

That 4 Corners story on Monday about the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement was really good. No re-enactments. No emotive music. Just good clean insight. Check out the transcript if you missed it.

Major points for the lazy:
- Our Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme is really ace. World's best practice and all that. People wish they had our scheme.

- The argument that we should give up our PBS because "Somebody has to pay for the research and development of these miracle drugs" [Senator Jon Kyl] and "Australia's freeloading" [Kevin Hassett, American Enterprise Institute] with pharmaceutical companies taking all this risk 'innovating' on our behalf, is a crock, especially considering that they spend way more on lobbying and advertising than R&D, and that the actual R&D is done in publicly funded academic institutions and then bought by the companies for a song.

- Ignore the talk about how "Foreign governments, with their socialised medicine, are destroying innovation." Because such talk comes from disreputable places like the American Enterprise Institute. Dickheads! No matter what they, just know that WE'RE NOT DODGY! And don't let anyone tell you different. We're cool. All our PBS board does is consider whether 'new' drugs are actually new, and if they're not new they just price them the same as the other drugs already out there that do the same job. It's not evil.

- The Free Trade Agreement will quite possibly fuck up our PBS. Our sweet sweet PBS.

- Heaps of people are full of shit. And heaps of people aren't.

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