Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Healthcare and Human Nature

But isn't it just human nature to want to pay for things when you have to? And not want to pay for "preventive" type things that will *prevent* huge, but uncertain expenditures down the road?

U.S. Lacks Vaccines, Antibiotics [WSJ]
"Michael Kremer, an economist at Harvard University, says under the current incentive system, drugs that treat disease are more lucrative than vaccines to prevent it partly because people are more inclined to pay for a medicine that treats a condition they already have. In one economic model, Dr. Kremer and a colleague concluded that revenue from drugs to treat AIDS would be twice as high as from vaccines to prevent it. Also, Dr. Kremer notes, a successful vaccine may devour its own market by eradicating the disease it protects against."