Health Affairs: A Fair Plan For Fairer Drug Prices
By Scott Gottlieb and Kavita Patel
July 11, 2016 | Health Affairs
As the biological basis of more diseases are fully revealed, and the drugs targeting medical problems become more focused and effective, more patients are finding themselves on costlier specialty medicines. At the same time, consumers find themselves paying a growing portion of their drug bills out of pocket as the structure of insurance changes. These two developments have combined to result in significant consumer hardship.
In response to these trends, there has been political pressure to enact policies giving federal and state governments authority to set drug prices or limit price increases. However, these policies could have the unintended consequence of reducing the incentive to develop more effective drugs.
In Europe, government price-setting authorities systematically overpay for some older, less innovative drugs while reducing the prices of and access to newer, more significant breakthroughs. Many worry that enacting a similar policy in the United States would reduce the profitability of new, innovative research endeavors.