Last updated on: 12/18/2019 12:28:28 PM PST
Should the Federal Government Intervene to Lower Prescription Drugs Costs?
Americans spend an estimated $334 billion on prescription drugs each year, accounting for 10% of total health care spending. Drug prices fluctuate based on factors such as competition among pharmaceutical companies, availability of generic versions, market demand, and patents on brand-name drugs.
Some believe that the federal government has unique leverage to negotiate lower prescription drug prices for Americans, while others believe government intervention could make pharmaceutical companies less likely to spend money on developing new drugs.
"Too many Americans cannot afford their prescription drugs, and prescription drug corporations are profiteering off of the pocketbooks of sick individuals. The Biden Plan will put a stop to runaway drug prices and the profiteering of the drug industry by:... Limiting price increases for all brand, biotech, and abusively priced generic drugs to inflation. As a condition of participation in the Medicare program and public option, all brand, biotech, and abusively priced generic drugs will be prohibited from increasing their prices more than the general inflation rate. The Biden Plan will also impose a tax penalty on drug manufacturers that increase the costs of their brand, biotech, or abusively priced generic over the general inflation rate."
Source: Joe Biden, "Health Care," joebiden.com (accessed Nov. 25, 2019)
"We will enact Medicare for All as a Community-Controlled National Health Service. The Natonal Health Service will provide comprehensive health care for all residents of the United States at no cost to patients at the point of health care delivery and free choice of doctors for patients. It will cover all medically necessary services, including doctor, hospital, preventive, long-term care, mental health, reproductive health care, dental, vision, prescription drug, and medical supply costs."
Source: Howie Hawkins, "The Economic Bill of Rights," howiehawkins.us (accessed June 24, 2020)
"Yes, but not by forcing price reductions. Rather, it should end government regulations that cause prices to be high in the first place. We should immediately end the FDA’s authority to regulate drug manufacturers. Allow it to serve in an advisory capacity until the free-market proves superior ability to keep us safe, which will happen quickly, then phase it out. This will allow drug prices to go way down."
Source: Communication from the Jorgensen campaign to ProCon.org on Aug. 26, 2020
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