Noam Chomsky on Cutting the Cost of Drugs

Topic: US healthcare, the government and drug prices

Noam Chomsky: There's a lot of concern about cost of US healthcare, which makes good sense.  It's going to tank the economy.  There's about twice as much per capita as comparable countries have some of the worst outcomes and it's growing pretty fast.  So yeah, that's a real problem.  And a lot of criticism of Obama's plan from the right, as it's called, is too expensive.  Well, there's some pretty easy ways to cut down the expenses.

For example, the United States is the only industrial country that by law, does not permit the government to use its purchasing power to negotiate drug prices.  So one effect is that drug prices are way higher than anywhere else. 

Well, what does the public think about this?  The few polls there are show that approximately 85 percent of the public thinks we ought to do it.  It's not even on the agenda.  In fact, a week or so ago, the “New York Times” had a front page article saying that Obama had made a secret deal with the drug companies, in which he assured them that there would be no such moves.

Recorded on: Aug 18, 2009. 

Noam Chomsky laments the wide gulf between public policy and public attitudes towards the cost of drugs.

4 reasons why Apple, Facebook and other tech stocks are plunging

The so-called FAANG companies have lost more than $700 billion in market value since October.

(Photo credit should read BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The shares of major tech companies were performing exceptionally well earlier this year, but those gains got nearly erased on Monday.
  • Overvaluation, the U.S.-China trade war and recent privacy concerns surrounding tech companies are among the reasons for the drops.
  • Apple and Facebook have been hit the hardest in recent weeks, thanks in part to a few major reports from news outlets.
Keep reading Show less

A new study says alcohol changes how the brain creates memories

A study on flies may hold the key to future addiction treatments.

Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Mind & Brain
  • A new study suggests that drinking alcohol can affect how memories are stored away as good or bad.
  • This may have drastic implications for how addiction is caused and how people recall intoxication.
  • The findings may one day lead to a new form of treatment for those suffering from addiction.
Keep reading Show less

Why does turkey make you sleepy?

Is everyone's favorite Thanksgiving centerpiece really to blame for the post-dinner doldrums?

(Photo from Flickr)
Surprising Science
  • Americans kill around 45 million turkeys every year in preparation for the Thanksgiving meal, only to blame our favorite centerpiece for the following food comas.
  • Rumor has it our after-dinner sleepiness results from the tryptophan found in turkey.
  • However, it is the meal's overall nutritional imbalance, not just the tryptophan, that make us want to leave the dishes for tomorrow. Or maybe the next day.
Keep reading Show less