Read recent commentaries about drug-cost issues.
Stat: Trade Agreement Monopoly Is Obsolete With Faster Drug Discovery
For decades, the brand-name drug industry has relentlessly promoted the message that any reduction in its government-protected monopolies would have detrimental effects on innovation. Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have taken that message to heart, largely leaving pharmaceutical monopolies alone as drug prices have skyrocketed.But even as the innovation narrative is showing cracks in its foundation, and as House Democrats take aim at removing a provision in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement that gives drug companies 10 years of guaranteed market protection, the pharma industry continues to flog its stale innovation narrative. (Jonathan Kimball, 10/2)
National Review: Nancy Pelosi’s Drug Plan — Setting Drug Prices, Not Negotiating Them
Nancy Pelosi claims that her new bill to lower the price of prescription drugs would allow drug prices to be “negotiated by Medicare.” The media accepts her description of the bill as allowing for negotiations. Take this headline in the New York Times, from last month: “Pelosi’s drug plan would let U.S. negotiate prices of 250 medications.” A more accurate headline would have read: “Pelosi’s drug plan would give the U.S. government the power to set the prices of 250 medications.” (Michael R. Strain, 10/2)
The Hill: Pelosi’s Prescription Drug ‘Negotiations’ Would Harm Americans And Benefit China, Russia
Pelosi’s plan would not only result in lethal delays for patients seeking life-saving medicines, but it would also ensure that America steps away from leading the world in breakthrough medical innovation. This presents an ample opportunity for a number of other nations to pounce on our weakness and attempt to fill our patients’ needs. Indeed, Pelosi’s plan would create an opening for countries like China and Russia to step in a grab market share from American drug companies. Just at a time when we are trying through trade agreements to bring industries back to the United States, here we have Pelosi unwittingly maneuvering to send one of our brightest shining industries overseas. (Kent Kaiser, 10/1)
Forbes: The Missed Opportunities In Nancy Pelosi’s Prescription Drug Reform Bill
“The burden of out-of-control prescription costs is an issue that touches every family in America,” Pelosi said in her announcement of the new bill. And she’s right. But her bill goes so far that few, if any, Republicans will support it. (Avik Roy, 9/26)
Courier Journal: Prescription Drug Pricing Bill Provision Could Hurt Kentucky Patients
Section 207 of the Lower Health Care Costs Act of 2019, one of the prescription drug pricing bills under consideration in Congress, would remove the requirement for adherence to public quality standards for all biologic medicines, like those used to treat cancer and autoimmune diseases, jeopardizing medicine uniformity and quality. (Melody Ryan, 10/3)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.