The Original All-Star Panelist Crom Carmichael Explains Big Pharma and the Illusion of a Free Market


Live from Music Row Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio.

During the third hour, Carmichael referenced a recent Wall Street Journal article which eluded to the idea that Big Pharma operates within a free market structure. He later outlined how by manipulating governmental bureaucracies these companies are able to eliminate all competition.

Leahy: In the studio with me on Music Row studios here in Nashville, Tennessee is the original All-Star panelists Crom Carmichael. Crom, it is November 30th. The Electoral College will meet in the 50 state capitals two weeks from today.

Carmichael: Yes, I but I think that the decisions and I think all the fighting and everything has to end by December eighth.

Leahy: I think you’re right.

Carmichael: I think it’s eight days and that the Electors are picked and then they convene on the 14th.

Leahy: So eight days, that’s eight days from now.

Carmichael: Yeah, and I don’t think anything’s gonna happen. I think that having overwhelming evidence it’s not sufficient because this is not the preponderance of evidence. You have to have proof and you have to have overwhelming proof. Just providing the anecdotal evidence of what actually happened and the facts of what happened is insufficient. And so so I think that Biden in my opinion is and frankly I don’t think there’s anything that actually that could ever change it. And I think they’ll be a book written. The question is whether or not Amazon will allow it to be sold.

Leahy: (Leahy laughs) They won’t.

Carmichael: It will have the details of the data that supports it. It’s a little bit like Putin who won 80 percent of the vote. I don’t believe that. Now can I prove it? No, I can’t. But I still don’t believe that anyone who does believe it that we just simply will have to disagree.

Leahy: So two weeks from tomorrow on December 15th it is more likely than not you would say that Joe Biden will have received over 270 Electoral College.

Carmichael: That’s my guess.

Leahy: Yeah, and if that were to happen, then he would be the president-elect.

Carmichael: Yeah, and then January fifth becomes a key day and that’s the elections in Georgia.

Leahy: Right.

Carmichael: We know that Warnock is a flaming leftist. I mean just crazy off the charts left.

Leahy: Crazy.

Carmichael: And Ossoff has now embraced Bernie Sanders. Now I am hoping that the Republicans in Georgia who are the election officials and I’m talking about on the ground, I’m not talking about the Secretary of State…

Leahy: You are talking about the county election officials.

Carmichael: Yeah. I’m just saying that that the Republican officials will demand that they have access to the ballots as they are opened and that they get to examine them. I hope they will do that. We’ll see.

Leahy: Well Kelly Loeffler said they would do that.

Carmichael: I understand Kelly Loeffler says they will do that. They’re operating under the same law for January fifth that they operated under in the last election.

Leahy: You are exactly and precisely correct.

Carmichael: Now that doesn’t mean that they will get lacked the same way. It just means that there have not been any Draconian penalties and there should be Draconian penalties. I’m not calling for the death penalty for those who cheat. But I am calling for excessive fines and for those fines to be collectible by private collection agencies so that these people who commit fraud will be hounded and perhaps taken to court and bankrupted if they commit fraud. If you commit voter fraud that is not treason but it’s close in my opinion. Somebody who does that and somebody who organizes it the penalty should be excessive. They should be bankrupted. put in prison. and their lives destroyed. Because a free society can only stay free as long as you have Fair elections.

Leahy: I agree.

Carmichael: I want to switch to another subject.

Leahy: Well on the theme that perhaps we will have to face the fact or the likelihood of a president-elect Joe Biden on December 15th. What happens then?

Carmichael: He’ll become president at the inauguration, which I assume would be virtual because I don’t think that COVID-19 will have gone completely away then and so so you’ll have a virtual inauguration which would suit me just fine.

Leahy: I think Anthony Fauci would make a proclamation that if a Democrat is inaugurated as president COVID cannot be passed and therefore will let there be crowds.

Carmichael: Well, we’ll see they will see if they have a big whoop-de-doo, and then we can all pat ourselves on the back of those who said that this is more about politics. I’m not saying that that COVID is not a problem. But every year we have a flu season and that’s a problem. And this is not multiple times greater than a flu season. Is it worse? Yes, it is worse. But do you destroy your whole country and put millions and millions of people out of work and destroy hundreds of thousands of small businesses?

I think that that’s wrong. But I want to talk about a Wall Street Journal article. And it’s entitled and it’s in the opinion section and normally the opinion section is good. But in this case, they’ve made a logical mistake because they assume that there is a market in pharmaceutical products and especially those that are still on patent.

And the opinion piece the title is Trump’s Gift to Joe Biden. And what Donald Trump has done is he has signed an executive order that says that Medicare will not pay more for drugs than the lowest price they are charged to comparably developed countries. So if you’re Great Britain or Germany or Japan and Big Pharma is selling a patented drug for $10. a unit then Medicare will not pay more than $10. a unit.

And The Wall Street Journal says that that is a bad policy. And I disagree with The Wall Street Journal because The Wall Street Journal assumes incorrectly that there’s a market in Big Pharma products that are on a patent. And there is no market. There are behind-the-scenes negotiations. Medicare negotiates. Big insurance companies negotiate. There is no market. And so consequently Americans pay either taxpayers or consumers pay substantially more for the exact same pharmaceutical unit as the consumers in Great Britain, France Germany, and Japan. And they shouldn’t. Big Pharma should not be allowed to charge consumers a higher price and then discount it to other markets where the standards livings are similar. Now, here’s the problem. Do you remember when Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed started?

Leahy: Yes. And by the way, the Operation Warp Speed vaccines apparently are ready for distribution next month.

Carmichael: Operation Warp Speed started in April and here it is December. In eight months they apparently came up with three of them and maybe four.

Leahy: Donald Trump gets a lot of credit for that.

Carmichael: Yes he does. He gets a lot of credit. But what’s more important is the story that Donald Trump told the FDA to get all that bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo out of the way that slows other drug trials down by years. Get that out of the way. Operation Warp Speed, do your clinical trial do your phase two, do your phase three, and get this product to market. Now in the case of every other Big Pharma drug phase, one is not super expensive. Phase two is much more expensive. And phase three is out of sight expensive. And that’s the way Big Pharma likes it.

Leahy: And why is that?

Carmichael: Because Big Pharma knows that there are very few small companies that will pass phase one and phase two who can afford phase three.

Leahy: So they’re using the government regulatory process as a barrier to entry for new competitors.

Carmichael: Yes, and then they buy the products and they buy the company’s as they’re coming out of phase two. Now do the companies that get through phase two, do they get paid? Yes, they do. They get well paid but Big Pharma doesn’t want them as competitors.

Leahy: Interesting.

Carmichael: So what you have is you have this incestuous relationship between the bureaucracies and there are a bunch of them in the health business.

Leahy: And you are a free-market guy. And this is basically not a free market is the argument.

Carmichael: So The Wall Street Journal is claiming that Big Pharma needs to be able to price their product however they want to. And that assumes that there’s a market and there isn’t.

Leahy: Okay. It’s no surprise to me that The Wall Street Journal is sort of moving more towards a Biden friendly view of the world.

Carmichael: No, no, no.

Leahy: That’s not it?

Carmichael: No. This is the opinion section and the opinion section is still very good.

Leahy: Except for that opinion.

Carmichael: Except for this opinion.

Leahy: The exception that proves the rule.

Carmichael: No. The other side that provides the news section has been anti-Trump for four years. The opinion section has been and has continued to be just as strong.

Leahy: Until this one.

Listen to the full third hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio





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