Unless you’ve been living under a rock recently you may have noticed that Mylan, the makers of Epipen, are under fire from the Government for increasing the prices on their life-saving products. What this has to do with e-liquid we’ll get to in a moment, but before we go any further I just want to say that we can’t blame a company for taking advantage of a system that has been rigged in its favor. Yes, Senator Manchin’s daughter may be a grade A crook for taking a $16,000,000 salary from a company whose products are directly responsible for keeping thousands alive every year when they go into anaphylactic shock, but I personally can’t fault her for pushing the price of a life saving device, that is required by law to be in every school across the country, up to $600.
I Can Buy 2 Epipens In England For $100
If you go outside the United States, there are other companies who make the exact same product and sell it for a lot less and in other countries they couldn’t dream of gouging the price like they have here. The regulatory system in the United States is honestly rigged in their favor, the costs are so prohibitive that other companies have problems dislodging them from their monopoly, especially if they want to be profitable. While monopolies are technically illegal, it is common practice for companies to literally buy their way to the top of the pile — and it doesn’t hurt when they have connections in the right places. Screwing the small guy is perfectly fine here, because whatever you charge, someone is willing to pay it.
What Does This Have To Do With E-Liquid
When you have a regulatory system that favors those who have the power and the money to buy their way to the top, you end up with monopolies. Ever wonder why you can only get cable through a couple of companies — corporate executives love spending money on politicians.
They regulate the competition out of existence, make it impossible for anyone else to do business and then swoop in and take the whole pie. That Epipen costs very little to make, less than $5 for each unit but they can charge $600 for it because they have no-one to reign in their ambition. The FDA’s regulatory framework for the vaping industry was set up to push 99% of vapor product manufacturers out of business, leaving only those that can afford the pay-to-play game.
When you have diverse market with many companies fighting for the same pile of cash, they are forced to keep each other honest, prices stay low for the customers and innovation thrives. You take away the competition and the prices jump, innovation comes to a stand-still and the only people who are left with any feelings of joy for a product are the people making the money from it.
As I said at the start of this post, we can’t blame the corporations for pushing the little guys out-of-the-way, we have to blame the system that allows them to do it. The vultures are already circling to tax vapor products out of existence, how long will it be before all that’s left are cig-a-likes that cost $75 a piece.