The Plank

Megan McArdle's Word Games

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Atlantic blogger Megan McArdle wrote a post on pharmaceutical companies last month, and while replying to one of her commenters, she said this:

The United States currently provides something like 80-90% of the profits on new drugs and medical devices. Perhaps you think you can slash profits 80% with no effect on the behavior of the companies that make these products. I don't.

Last week, during a Washington Post online chat, this exchange took place:

Anonymous: You said that medical innovation will be wiped out if we have a type of national health care, because European drug companies get 80% of their revenue from Americans. Where did you get this statistic?

Megan McArdle: It wasn't a statistic--it was a hypothetical.

The mind reels...

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