The Pied Piper of Pharma

Hardly a day goes by that I do not read a prescriber complaint about rising drug prices. Do they forget that we have a free market economy in which supply and demand determine price? It seems natural to me that apparent increases in the number of sick people with health insurance means an increase in demand. It also seems natural that lawsuits and other attacks on the pharmaceutical industry, coupled with increasingly onerous regulation, might make investors demand increased return on investment to prevent them from placing their bets elsewhere, which translates into reduced supply.

If we want lower prices for drugs we need to think of ways to reassure investors. We need a solid and innovative pharmaceutical industry, and we do not want them to pipe our children out of Hamlin -- or stop producing needed drugs altogether.


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