Act would lower prices
When it comes to out-of-control drug prices the liberal answer is always price controls, price controls, price controls. But in any country that has seriously tried to lower prices by government fiat the problems it creates are so much worse than the one they tried to address — just look at Venezuela for example.
The secret to addressing high drug prices is actual market competition — and I mean real competition. A truly competitive market drives down prices when businesses have to compete for consumers’ business. Right now, we don’t have nearly enough of that in the drug industry, partly because of ridiculous post-patent drug rules allowing big drug companies to withhold their off-patent drugs from generic producers and thereby lockout competition.
But there is a bill in congress to help fix this. The CREATES Act would create an avenue for generic manufacturers to force big drug companies to comply with the law. It has the support of some very conservative folks including Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Rand Paul, as well as a bipartisan coalition of people who think that maybe instead of price controls we ought to actually let the free market work.
Unfortunately, at present neither Speaker Paul Ryan nor Sen. Ron Johnson has signed on to the CREATES Act. They should because this bill is exactly the type of conservative reform we need to address skyrocketing drug costs.