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Issue Analysis

Drug Price Controls are Dangerous to Your Health

Almost all Americans want lower price prescription drugs, and it is indefensible that American consumers often have to pay higher prices than customers in developed nations around the world. This is especially intolerable given that most of the wonder drugs of recent years and decades that we pay more for have been developed on these shores.

The Health and Human Services Department reports that a senior who receives an eye medicine that currently costs Medicare $1,800 a month is only charged $300 a month in many other nations. A popular chemotherapy drug Costs Medicare $4,700 for each treatment here in the U.S. but only $1,100 in other nations. The rest of the freeloading world is like the 25-year-old kid living at his parents' house rent-free and eating everything in the fridge. Something is seriously wrong here.

The solution is NOT to import other nations’ price controls into our system. This is the latest flawed idea in healthcare policy making the rounds in Washington. It is what is known as international reference pricing for prescription drugs. The idea is essentially this: the federal government should impose price controls on pharmaceuticals in the United States based on price controls found abroad in order to save patients money and reduce the cost of programs like Medicare and Medicaid. An analysis of the underlying economics of such an idea quickly reveals not only the obvious problems with price controls. Price controls are particularly risky in the area of life-saving or therapeutic drugs because the price limits discourage innovation and development of new drugs that could accelerate the race for the cure for cancer, heart disease, MS, Alzheimer's, and many other killer diseases. If the profits are drained out of the system, the incentive for new drug development will be stalled.

Read the full report in the attachment below.