Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Oh Noes! The Scary Claritan-D!

I'm annoyed. I mean, really, really annoyed. Mainly at the idiots that we call state Representatives and Senators. I'll include Governor Barbour in there just for good measure.

Why am I so annoyed? What has gotten my proverbial panties in a bunch you may ask?

Well, it's like this, both the Mississippi Senate and the Mississippi House has passed a bill designed to restrict psuedoephedrine sells to require a prescription. Which means that now to continue with my daily dosage of Clariton D I will need to spend additional money to go to the doctor's office and get a prescription.

This is insane for a number of reasons, among them, and just right off the top of my head:
  1. Medicare Costs & Doctor Rationing
  2. Lessens Quality of Life
  3. Unintended Economic Consequencees
None of those things make me happy, and let's look at the reasons why...

Medicare costs & Doctor Rationing. Remember, this bill will require thousands of people to go visit the doctor. Everyone who takes Claritan-D on a daily basis will need to do so. Then anyone who is allergic to phenylephrine will need to visit the doctor whenever they get sick or get a stuffy nose due to the changing season. Medicare costs associated with all these additional doctor visits will skyrocket. The Medicare/Medicaid program here in Mississippi is already taxed to the breaking point. This bill will add thousands of visits to the system per year, and we already don't have the money in our tax coffers to pay for all of the entitlement services that the State provides.

Then there is also the fact that a doctor can only see so many patients in a given day. When a doctor gets innudated with demands to see him just so people can get another year's worth of Claritan-D, that means that that same doctor has less time to see people who are truly sick.

Quality of Life. The thing is that I need this particular drug for my quality of life. If I don't have it, I'm quickly reduced to a phlegm filled monstrosity that is constantly hacking, snuffling and ultimately I have to go to the doctor for a Z-Pack because the crud in my chest and nose has turned into pneumonia. After the Z-Pack does its thing, I'm okay for two weeks, and then we repeat the process. This is how I lived for the first 18 months that I lived in Mississippi. I had more Z-Packs and shots in the posterior to combat pneumonia infections in those 18 months, than in the entire 30 year span prior to moving.

That stopped once I got myself on a daily Claritan-D regiment.

This is what the government is basically saying that they want me to go back to. It's either that or take hours out of my day to wait around at the doctors office to get them to give me a prescription.

Which leads to the third point I made up there about...

Unintended Economic Consequences. This whole thing is an effort to combat a "meth problem," and truthfully, there are areas in this state that has one. In fact in Jackson in 2009, there were more arrests concerning meth, than any other drug.

The thing is that, this is not going to change one thing, and the reason for that is the Law of Scarcity. This law is based upon two propositions:
  1. Man has unlimited or insatiable wants, and
  2. Resources that are used to produce goods and services are limited.
I'm not going into some huge lecture on Supply and Demand, as frankly, economics is not my specialty. I took enough courses on it in college to be able to deal with it, and know the fundamentals, but I don't particularly like it. But the basics is that the more scarce a product is, the more and higher the cost to sell. Since the production costs will not necessarily change, that means that there will be a higher profit margin for those still willing to create this particular drug.

Anyways, I want you to think about scarcity.

Think about it and especially in relation to Prohibition (or The Noble Experiment). When the government tried to limit the creation and sale of alcohol, what happened? It went underground, and was still made and sold, but the selling involved bullets, a violent black market, racketeering, corrupted law officials, and of course, high profits. The Mafia made huge profits on liquor until Prohibition was ended, and cheap, legal access to it, stripped them of their profits in that particular venue.

During Prohibition, liquor was SCARCE, therefore it could be sold at a high price despite being cheap to make, therefore it was worthwhile for those willing to break laws to produce it, to produce it.

Which sounds amazingly like the illegal drug trade here in the States today.

But I digress, by making the a single ingredient in the production of meth even more scarce, you're creating an environment, where the creation of meth becomes even more economically viable for those willing to break the law to create it.

Also, consider that pseudoephedrine is technically not a REQUIRED ingredient to meth. It's used because it's a cheap alternative, with a chemical similarity to the "actual ingredient." Additionally, the ingredients that can be used, are wide and varied. It's the reason so many people have taken to make it, the formula can use a host of different items, so long as they are chemically similar, and compatible to the end result.

So, are all these other ingredients being tracked and required a doctor's notice to purchase? Why just the one that is most useful to our health? Iodine and salt are also ingredients, why aren't those schedule 1 narcotics? Should we need a note from a licensed painter in order to purchase paint thinner (again, a meth ingredient) or acetone?

We must always remember something, every time the government acts to create new restrictions on us:
Limits on our freedoms, only works on those unwilling to break the law in the first place.
It is the same fundamental reason that "gun control" and airport "security measures" will never work. They are based on the delusion concept that additional laws will keep someone from breaking the law.

And life just does not work that way.

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