How Inhalers Can Start Reinventing Bidenomics and Emasculate Putinomics

by Bobby Reyes

Part XXXVII of the “Geopolitics” Series

This columnist recently ordered a refill of his prescription from the Kaiser Permanente pharmacy in West Covina, CA. While waiting for his prescribed medicine, his eyes got attracted to an inhaler (as shown in the cover photo). He took a picture of it for this instant column. It is a made-in-India inhaler, licensed and distributed by Proctor & Gamble Company of the United States. It is being sold for $9.19 each, as the price tag shows in the KP pharmacy’s over-the-counter (OTC) section.

The same Indian inhaler is also being distributed by the Philippine subsidiary of Proctor & Gamble Company in the Filipino homeland for PHpesos 100 in big pharmacies and about 20% more in rural drug stores. One hundred pesos equals less than two U.S. greenbacks (depending on the prevailing exchange rate of 50-to-56 pesos for one U.S. dollar).

This columnist knows the price of inhalers in his homeland, as he and his wife get their supply of Vicks inhalers from the most extensive pharmacy chain in the Philippines. Kin and friends traveling to California bring the inhalers as presents to them. Inhalers are the favorite gifts from the Philippines for the Reyeses and others who use them daily for their sinus needs. Many Americans of Filipino descent also acquire the same inhalers and other OTC medicines from the Philippines that are priced astronomically lower than their counterpart brands in the United States.

Perhaps the Biden Administration can persuade Proctor & Gamble Company and other U.S. pharmaceutical firms to outsource the making of their products in India to follow their pricing policies in the Philippines. After all, the Philippines is a former American colony. What is suitable for Filipinos is also good for Americans. Imagine the impact of Bidenomics on American consumers if six or seven dollars per piece can reduce the price of inhalers.

This suggested method can dramatically reduce the prices of OTC and even prescribed medicines. Such price reductions can help bring down the rate of inflation. This may be an excellent follow-up to President Biden’s move to reduce insulin prices to $35 per shot per day. Yes, since probably a thousand percent or more Americans use inhalers than insulin in their daily lives.

Perhaps President Biden can initiate immediate joint ventures with Indian pharmaceutical producers, following in the footsteps of Proctor & Gamble Company and other American drug companies. This column discussed “Back-to-Basics Governance Means Affordable Vaccines and Medicines” on January 15, 2023. Readers may like to browse it again at this link.

It has been reported that India manufactures vaccines (even against the COVID-19 virus) under license for $3-to-$5 per shot. Contrast this price with American vaccine manufacturers that charge a couple of hundred greenbacks or more per shot. Bidenomics can do wonders for the medical and pharmaceutical industries with the help of India. This will carve figuratively on history’s pedestal the success of President Biden in reforming the country’s drug manufacturing industry. And in bringing down the pricing of medicines to affordable levels.

North America is the world’s biggest crude oil and natural gas producer. The United States is also the biggest exporter of processed oil products to many countries. Canada is the world’s fifth-biggest oil producer. President Biden may also like to do a simultaneous “reinvention” of the American oil cartel, oops, industry—like stopping any alleged price gouging by some of its members.

Perhaps as a condition precedent to working more with Indian corporations, the Biden Administration can persuade the Indian oil industry to stop buying Russian crude oil — as China does. There had been reports in mainstream media that Indian crude oil tankers have been receiving — on a ship-to-ship transfer in international waters — Russian oil exports (at rock-bottom prices due to the current sanctions for the Kremlin invasion of Ukraine). If the Kremlin cannot sell its crude oil production to India and China, Russians cannot use it to make tea or vodka. The Kremlin-controlled economy (called in this proposal as Putinomics for want of a better name) will have a more challenging time financing its invasion of Ukraine since things in Russia are going south.

There are precedents in how Corporate America has trained Asian Indians for their research needs and as buyers of gas stations and 7-11 store franchises. U.S. computer firms hired more than 5,000 Asian-Indian computer engineers to work in their laboratories in the Research Triangle near Raleigh, North Carolina. It is public knowledge that many Asian-Indian entrepreneurs now operate gasoline stations and 7-11 stores. Asian Indians have replaced Filipino Americans as the second-biggest Asian community in the United States and soon in Canada.

On April 10, 2022, this writer discussed “‘Plan B’ for Europe to Stop Buying Russian Oil and Gas in Seven Days Or Less.” Nowadays, it appears that gunboat diplomacy has been replaced by oil-based geopolitics.

North America is the world’s biggest crude oil and natural gas producer. The United States is also the biggest exporter of processed oil products to many countries. Canada is the world’s fifth-biggest oil producer. President Biden may also like to do a simultaneous “reinvention” of the American oil cartel, oops, industry—like stopping any alleged price gouging by some of its members.

On a long-term basis, this suggested move of the United States — and Canada — can jointly become the most significant oil suppliers to India (and even China and Western Europe). This means there will be less American military aid for Ukraine because the Kremlin invasion will go nowhere and end sooner. Russia is getting poorer and poorer in financing and pursuing Putin’s war against brave and highly motivated Ukrainians.

It may not be challenging to persuade India’s national and regional leaders to join the United States wholeheartedly and become a strong player in North America’s combined economies. The idea rests on mutual interests and international concerns for world peace and progress.

Vice President Kamala Harris is of partly Asian-Indian descent. And a trade-and-investment mission to India may become bipartisan by inviting former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who is also of Indian descent, to co-chair it. And remember, the current U.S. envoy to India, Amb. Eric Garcetti showed his skills in bipartisan negotiations when he was mayor for the maximum two terms of the City of Los Angeles, CA. He is also considered the prime mover of the successful proposal to hold the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles County. He can be a superb in-site micromanager of the suggested mission.

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