Manhattan Phone Directory

It would be preferable to be governed by the first one hundred people listed in the Manhattan phone directory, someone once quipped, than to be governed the faculty of Harvard College. Were either eventuality to come about, we could take comfort, nonetheless, in knowing that we were not to be governed by the author of your incoherent editorial on the failure of Congress to allow re-importation of prescription drugs. Although we are instructed by your editorialist that re-importation is “not a good solution” to the problem of drug prices, pharmaceutical companies are, all the same, scolded for their “ruthless” opposition to it. Furthermore, if the rest of the world gets, according the editorial, “close to a free ride” on American-developed drugs, your solution is to shove the same uneconomic pricing down the throats of scheming drug companies in the U.S. The problem with the editorial is the unexamined premise that drug prices are too high (or too low; remember those free riders). My guess as to the right price for drugs is the price that encourages drug companies to continue research that will lead to a cure for the diseases that lie in our future. Of course, neither I nor the Sun can say for sure what that price is. In the meantime, I, and most Americans, have the financial wherewithal to be able to purchase drugs even though, according to the Sun editorialist, drug companies “stop at nothing to protect profits.” Let’s spend less time on experiments aimed at achieving the unattainable — a just right price for drugs — and more time encouraging drug companies to expand their research. All those “brilliant, ruthless and effective” drug company lobbyists with whom the Sun is so impressed could then be tasked with expanding need-based subsidies for prescription drug purchases, so that no one does without.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.