More About Paul Howard
Proposals to control drug prices may have populist appeal, but they miss the mark by ignoring the root cause of high health care costs—poor health—and the relatively modest role that medicines play in U.S. health care spending.
Rather than micromanage drug prices, Congress should focus on ways to let better drugs reach more patients in less time. More effective drugs reaching patients faster means better patient outcomes, and more competition, keeping drug prices in check.
Price control advocates argue that curtailing profits in the pharmaceutical industry would save the country money without reducing innovation. There is, however, no such thing as a free lunch. Bureaucratic price manipulation would only hurt the sickest patients.
Innovation is an expensive business, and we should do all we can to make drug development more efficient and predictable. More treatments and more cures would also lead to more competition based on price and value.
When it comes to drug pricing, as in so much of our economy, the market is not the problem but the solution.