October 20, 2018
The NYT had a piece on how drug companies fear that if the Democrats retake the House, they may work together with Donald Trump to lower drug prices. At one point the piece tells readers;
“The Democrats’ proposal for the government to negotiate drug prices for millions of Medicare patients is their preferred solution. But it would also face the most opposition, from drug makers and Republicans who see it as a step toward price controls.”
It’s great we have NYT reporters who can read the minds of Republican members of Congress so that they can tell us they oppose negotiated drug prices because they “see it as a step toward price controls.” Those of who can’t read minds might have thought that Republicans in Congress oppose negotiated drug prices because it would lower the profits of the drug companies who contribute to their campaigns.
Since this piece discusses a number of mechanisms for containing drug prices, it also would have been worth mentioning a proposal that got the support of 17 Democratic senators (lead sponsors Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren), which would replace government-granted patent monopolies as a mechanism for financing research with direct government funding. This would allow new drugs to be immediately sold at free market prices.
Of course, the drug companies would probably kill to prevent such legislation from passing since they are strongly opposed to a free market in prescription drugs.