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Obama Administration Contributes to Life-Threatening Drug Shortages Even as it Decries Them

In a recent column, Michelle Malkin explained how Obamacare price controls, FDA and DEA rules, and Obama administration policies have contributed to shortages of crucial life-saving drugs, relying on (and linking to) sources as varied as ABC News, The Wall Street Journal, and the New England Journal of Medicine. Earlier, law professor Richard Epstein, a leading authority on property rights, explained how Medicare regulations and price controls are helping spawn shortages of cancer drugs needed by chemotherapy patients and others. As biotech expert Greg Conko has noted, the FDA contributes to critical drug shortages because it "requires manufacturers to seek approval just to increase production," thus artificially limiting production, and "it continues to shut down facilities for minor infractions," further exacerbating shortages.  If shortages are a problem, why on Earth would an agency require permission -- and cumbersome red tape -- before a manufacturer can expand production of that drug? In spite of its role in causing the life-threatening drug shortages, the Obama administration has sought to demagogue the issue and place the blame entirely on drug makers. Earlier, CEI filed an amicus brief challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare, arguing that the 2010 healthcare law unconstitutionally exceeds Congress's powers under the Commerce and Spending Clauses. Regardless of whether it is constitutional, Obamacare is also harmful to the economy, medical innovation, and the health care system. Earlier, I discussed some of the bad effects of Obamacare on patients, employers, consumers, and the insurance market.