ECON 408 - Segment 1 Writing Assignment - Spring2019.docx

ECON 408 - Segment 1 Writing Assignment - Spring2019.docx -...

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ECON 408 – Segment 1 – Lamka - Writing Assignment DUE by 5:00 PM on Friday, April 26. Below is a link to an advertisement that ran during the Super Bowl in 2016. The advertisement was controversial. Here are some additional facts, taken from an article that appeared in the Los Angeles Times on February 10, 2016, entitled “What the Super Bowl constipation ad didn’t say": AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo spent hundreds of millions of dollars to buy the rights to and to make and sell Movantik, a new drug to mitigate constipation caused by opioids. The ad does not specifically mention the drug. AstraZeneca also gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to pain advocacy nonprofits that promote awareness of the condition. The names of four of those groups appear on the add (but not the pharmaceutical companies). The market for drugs to mitigate opioid induced constipation is $500 million per year. The market for opioids is much larger. Between 1999 and 2016, when the ad ran, prescriptions for opioids rose 300%, to 240 million prescriptions a year. Opioids are addictive and, in 2014, two years before the ad ran, their use was linked to 28,648 deaths. The economic cost of opioid addiction, measured in life and lost productivity, is even greater than the value of the market for opioids and Movanik combined. In response to the add, Brandon del Pozo, chief of police of Burlington, Vermont, said “if ‘Big Pharms’ was going to spend millions of dollars to talk about opioids during the Super Bowl, the only think it should be saying is, ‘Watch out, we’ve created something addictive, we’re here to help, we need to get you guys off this drug.” In response, pain advocacy groups including the nonprofit U.S. Pain Foundation, which received grant money from AstraZeneca, issued a statement “dismissing the criticism and suggested that all painkiller abusers are addicts.” And Cynthia Toussaint, who suffers from chronic pain and founded the pain advocacy group “For Grace,” which also received a grant from the pharmaceutical company,
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issued a statement saying criticism of the ad “is scary and really uncomfortable.” She and other pain advocates defended the ad, saying that “doctors and patients don’t often discuss opioid-induced constipation because the condition is embarrassing." In 2015, the drug companies paid Jackie Joyner Kersey an undisclosed sum to give personal testimonials about here experie3nce with opioid-induced constipation. _________________ Your assignment is to write an essay discussing what, if any, laws might improve the operation of the market place for the products in question, reduce transaction costs, improve economic efficiency and increase social welfare. You are not expected to devise laws that will achieve an optimum result. The problem of opioid use is very complex, as is the effect of advertising markets. You are expected to discuss specific laws and describe the effect these would have, using the concepts and methods you have learned from your studies in economics.
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  • Spring '17
  • AstraZeneca

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