The Wall Street Journal headline reads Democrats Vote to Raise Drug Prices. That’s in response to the Senate Progressive-Democratic Party’s unilateral vote to pass President Joe Biden’s (D) Build Reduced Back Act last Sunday. Included in that bill is a capability for Medicare to “negotiate” the prices on a select list of drugs. Negotiate: accept Medicare’s offer or pay a 95% tax on revenues. Nice drug you got there….
This is one inevitable result:
If drug makers must give Medicare steep discounts on certain drugs, they will compensate by increasing prices in the commercial market.
Even the Progressive-Democrat Senator Chris Murphy (CT) recognized the foolishness of the price control, even as he voted for it Sunday:
You can’t untangle the private sector from the public sector—one doesn’t work without the other.
Except that Murphy is wrong in one regard, a regard to which Progressive-Democrats everywhere are blind: the private sector works just fine without the public sector. Better, even.
There’s another inevitable outcome for which the Progressive-Democratic Party voted with their just passed Medicare price controls, and it’s far longer lasting and far more dangerous to Americans’ health. That outcome is the delayed effort to innovate and the reduced level of drug development that will occur even then, given the severe restrictions that will exist on a pharmaceutical company’s ability to recoup its cost of development, much less turn a profit on the development, and therewith have funds for further development.