As big drug companies shut down some research facilities in the U.S. and other rich countries, labs in India and China are increasingly picking up the slack. Eli Lilly & Co., Wyeth and GlaxoSmithKline PLC all have outsourced chemistry work to Indian firms, and Novartis AG announced last month that it is building a research center in China with at least 400 scientists. Meanwhile, Bayer AG said last month it is closing a major research facility in the U.S. [...]
Indian companies such as Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. have long competed internationally in generic drugs, drawing on their skill in copying foreign products learned under India's old patent regime. Now Indian companies are increasingly conducting clinical trials, performing contract chemistry work and, as Dr. Barbhaiya's journey shows, carrying out original research aimed at discovering new drugs.
Soon American pharmaceutical companies will be able to outsource everything: the research, the manufacture, and the markets themselves, because no Americans will be able to provide the research insight, the cheap labor, or the purchase price of American drugs.
If we'd only listened to Hillary 12 years ago, we could have worked out any kinks in her healthcare system by now. Instead, we're stuck in a downward spiral of mindless market worship and relentless globalization that will prevent Americans from access to drugs that are effective at a reasonable cost.