LETTERS: Drug companies and the free market, Legislature needs to act 

LETTERS: Drug companies and the free market, Legislature needs to act 

Uncle Sam stepped in


In 2020 the Trump administration did one large thing right. After a period of Covid-denial and magical thinking early on, they selected a few capable pharmaceutical firms and offered them boatloads of cash up front to develop Covid vaccines ASAP.

Pre-pandemic, these firms were not sitting and wondering what to do next; they were busy inventing the drugs of tomorrow.

Naturally, those projects did not include the vaccines that we all need now. Before the federal government paid them to change course, the invisible hand of the market (speaking of magical thinking) was not causing them to do so. This was a straightforward case of need; Uncle Sam (in this case, the Trump administration) made it happen quickly where it otherwise would not have.

You don't have to be any sort of anti-capitalist to recognize the existence of what the economists call market failure.

It is simply untrue that all needs are met by a free market. Pre-pandemic, the worrisome pharmacological market failure was with regular old antibiotics. We have used the old standbys so often that the microbes are starting to mutate around them.

People have already died of infections that should have been treatable, but turned out to be impervious to penicillin, to amoxicillin, to everything.

The drug companies are not on the case because that’s not where the money is; the money is in pills that millions will take every day for years on end. Plainly enough, Uncle Sam ought to step in there as well.   

Eric Kuhn, Middletown

The time to act is now


I've lived in Meriden nearly all my life and have never seen this level of violence in the city. Yesterday (4/26/21) Meriden experienced multiple officers hurt, cars wrecked, and among the 3 persons apprehended another juvenile with a gun. The violence is escalating and police officers are being put at increased risk by a system that doesn't support their work. The law regarding juvenile offenders needs to be changed where they are considered adults at age 16. How much more of this has to occur before the legislature does something? It seems like our legislature is comfortable with this level of violence as it has been happening with frequency for some time and no one has done anything to curb this. 

How true the biblical statement: “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” And so the evil will continue because there is no consequence. Legislature, the time to act is now.  

Ron Cornell, Meriden

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