Tag: Prescription Drugs

Casey Mulligan joins Allison Schrager to discuss his time on President Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers and the administration’s record on issues such as health care, the economy, immigration, and more. Mulligan’s new book is You’re Hired!: Untold Successes and Failures of a Populist President.

John Tierney joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss what the debate over prescription drugs gets wrong and the cost that government-imposed price controls could have on one of the world’s most innovative industries.

The business practices of the pharmaceutical industry—or “Big Pharma”—are one of the most divisive political issues of our time. Leaders from both political parties, from Bernie Sanders to President Trump, regularly denounce drug companies for profiteering and call for lower drug prices. But as Tierney notes in City Journal, “of every dollar that Americans spend on health, only a dime goes for prescription drugs. The lion’s share of health spending goes to hospitals and people in the health-care professions.”

Caring for the Criminal


shutterstock_340951064While the federal government shells-out for Chelsea Manning’s sex reassignment operation, state prisons are trying to figure out how to treat thousands of inmates afflicted with hepatitis C without busting their budgets. Via the WSJ:

The medicines, however, are so expensive, and the problem so widespread, that to treat all sufferers would blow up most prison budgets. List prices for the newer drugs range from $54,000 to $94,000 a person for a typical 12-week course. […] In a March court filing, the [Pennsylvania] department said treating the state’s estimated 7,000 infected inmates would cost about $600 million, which “would effectively cripple the Department from a budgetary standpoint” and squeeze other medical care and security needs.


How Much is Your Life Worth?


shutterstock_68146432When I ran for Congress in the special election in 2013 in Massachusetts, I would tell audiences that my children’s life expectancy dropped by 10 years on the day that ObamaCare was signed into law. When I made that claim at a League of Women Voters debate featuring seven Democrats and one Republican (me), there was widespread chortling … not to mention some outrage and ridicule from my fellow candidates.

If you listen to National Public Radio as I do (I recommend it: it’s painful but also cathartic), you will probably know that Boston-based biotechnology firm Vertex is in the crosshairs of the mainstream Left because they are charging $275,000 per year, per patient for a drug that shows remarkable success in forestalling the lethal effects of cystic fibrosis. Also recently, a group of oncologists at a Mayo Clinic conference released an editorial excoriating “Big Pharma” for charging too much for cancer-fighting drugs. According to the blog ThinkProgress:

In the editorial, Tefferi [the lead author] and his colleagues call for several policy changes to help address the problem. They say the United States should establish a new regulatory body to help set drug prices after new medications are approved for the market, as well as allow cheaper drugs to be imported from other countries like Canada. They also recommend allowing Medicare to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies, which could help the government program use its bargaining power to demand lower prices.