Command-and-Control Schemes Won’t Fix Prescription Drug Price Increases

Although other types of health care costs are rising more quickly, prescription drugs are a visible target of concern for financially stretched Americans because they often must pay out of the pocket right at the pharmacy counter. But as policymakers consider addressing this issue, they must be careful to preserve what makes the American health system the most dynamic and innovative in the world. Proposals that amount to price controls or penalties for drug manufacturers or consumers – such as a bill introduced by House Republican Michael Burgess – are just not up to this task. Tearing down regulatory barriers that unnecessarily increase prices and cut access for consumers, along with enhancing oversight of government programs that incentivize waste and abuse, would be much more effective over the long run. 

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