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DOW CHEMICAL'S ANTI-NATURAL GAS CAMPAIGN - MARLO LEWIS
Dow Chemical has been calling for restricting exports of liquefied natural gas, arguing such a move would add more value to the economy than gas exported overseas. But CEI's Marlo Lewis explains how the outcome of this bad policy would also justify:
• Curbing Dow’s exports of chemicals, plastics, and electronic components to help domestic manufacturers of paints, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, cell phones, laptops, and other finished goods become more competitive in the global marketplace.
• Empowering bureaucratic agencies to commandeer private property whenever they think the resource would add more value in the hands of some other firm or industry. Dow CEO Andrew Liveris would no doubt cry bloody murder if Congress proposed to give Dow a dose of its own medicine and restrict the company’s exports in the “public interest.” Presumably, Mr. Liveris would also disavow any sympathy for confiscatory centralized economic planning, although that is in effect what he is advocating.
SUPREME COUT HEARS FTC GENERIC DRUG CASE - GREGORY CONKO
Four of every five pharmaceutical prescriptions today are filled with a generic drug. That sounds like a big number, but the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) thinks it is too small and wants to do something about it. For over a decade, the agency has tried to use antitrust laws to crack down on business arrangements known as “reverse-payment patent settlements,” in which brand manufacturers pay generic competitors to drop patent challenges that could speed generic drugs to market. But a ban on settlements would threaten brand and generic firms alike, and result in higher, not lower, drug prices.
On Monday, March 25, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Federal Trade Commission v. Actavis, in which the agency claims reverse payment settlements are anticompetitive because the parties are colluding to delay competition for more expensive brand drugs.
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