We may be in the “Socialist Moment,” as the New Republic calls it, but it was still a little startling to see one of our DL Online writers being consulted as an expert on national TV. Not on cable news, but on a top-rated comedy show, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.
So who was it saying last week, “We can nationalize the pharmaceutical industry. And we should nationalize the pharmaceutical industry!”? That was none other than Fran Quigley, last seen on this site noting that coronavirus is not the worst thing infecting US health care.
Quigley was early in a packed lineup, including economist Robert Reich and historians Doris Kearns Goodwin and Nicole Hannah-Jones, “Although my topic was quite socialist—nationalizing the pharma industry—they only referenced me by my professor title,” Quigley said in an email to Democratic Left. “Alas, no mention of my DSA or RS membership, although I have that in my official bio now.”
Which means we will. On the segment, Quigley described how public funds spent to develop treatments gets funneled into the pockets of for-profit drug companies, which mostly choose not to produce the most lifesaving treatments but the most lucrative. It’s a topic he knows well, as director of the Health and Human Rights Clinic at the McKinney School of Law at Indiana University. Editor of the weekly Faith in Healthcare newsletter, Quigley’s also active with our Religious Socialism site. As this pandemic wears on, it’s great when it can open up the conversations we need about health care.