Republican effort to lower drug prices: let Canada decide.

Here is the 3 card Monte in drugs by the GOP: since there is no real market driven price control on pharmaceuticals and we won’t let Medicare negotiate prices, let’s legalize imports from Canada. Sounds cool , huh? Here is the irony, or hypocrisy, however. Canada’s drug prices are capped by the government. So it is ok for the US to lower our prices by market pressure from foreign price controls.
Sounds still cool, eh? Except Canada has not nearly the quantity to affect our prices at all. In other words, there is no ace of spades in the shuffle, just the one in the Republican palm.

9 thoughts on “Republican effort to lower drug prices: let Canada decide.

  1. RE: “Canada’s drug prices are capped by the government. So it is ok for the US to lower our prices by market pressure from foreign price controls.”

    What’s wrong with that? In terms of free market principles, how and why does it matter how a competitor’s prices are established?


  2. Other countries are getting a free ride on US sponsored research. They pay the marginal price for added production leaving recovery of R&D for us.

    Of course, we could do the same thing, but if you limit prices as they do, be prepared to wait 5 or 6 years for a vaccine next pandemic and forget about treatments for Alzheimer’s, cancer and other diseases that have small footprints.

    There won’t be anything new other than ED drugs and antidepressants.


    1. Baloney. Vaccines were already on the back burner because they are not for chronic or long term illnesses.

      Extorting the US citizenry with threats to stop research is not a good plan nor market based.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It takes a billion dollars and ten years to bring a drug to market.

        If there are only 10,000 people per year who can benefit from it, how do you pay for that with government controlled drug prices?

        You don’t

        So research on frugs not needed by millions simply won’t be done.


        1. Very rare diseases do get research paid for by donors. We have fewer and fewer antibiotics that can deal with Staph. Why, because there is no money in it. Yet, millions are susceptible to that bacterial infection. But a drug would be one and done.

          A few decades back, antibiotics were still working, but no longer. Yet they are not as profitable as diabetes meds.

          We build roads with taxpayer money for roads in rural areas that few use. Why? Because those folks are Americans also and still need to get around.

          Heartburn, cancer, ED, blood pressure, cholesterol are all chronic moneymakers.

          Liked by 2 people

    2. “They pay the marginal price for added production leaving recovery of R&D for us.”

      Complete rubbish. R&D spending by Big Pharma is a TINY percentage of what they spend on promotion. And most of what they DO spend is to find ways to tweak their products to hold off generics. “Evergreening.” Most basic research that leads to new and better medicine and vaccines is funded by governments and universities around the world. The fast deployment of Covid vaccines is the latest example of how that works.

      This “theory” you offer fails to explain what has transpired in the price, for example, of insulin. This is a product that has been around for over 100 years and the most common variety has been on the market for more than 20 years. And yet the price is skyrocketing in this country and is an order of magnitude higher than anywhere else.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The reason that the price of insulin is high is that the FDA assumed the power to license the production of generic drugs and artificially limits the number who can sell in the US. There are 137 producers of generic insulin worldwide, only 4 can market in the US.


        1. I will not argue with you about the role of the FDA in this sorry tale of the abuse of monoplistic power, but only point out that this explanation is completely different one from the one you first proposed.

          Liked by 1 person

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