Jack's ... or better

  • by: |
  • 10/02/2006
If you’re looking for a superb discussion of the unintended consequences of choice controls (aka “price controls”) look no further than the excellent new paper by John Calfee and Elizabeth Depre of the American Enterprise Institute.

Here’s a hot link:


Along with a few thoughts to ponder ...

* As we proceed further down the path of personalized medicine via both targeted therapies and gene testing, those nations (mostly in the EU, but also Canada, Australia and -- to a lesser degree -- Japan) that impose price controls via the threat of compulsory licensing will find that what once was a Thor's hammer has become a toy hammer. More and more pharmaceutical firms will just say no to such blackmail and increasing numbers of patients in these otherwise developed nations will have neither access to nor, for that matter, knowledge (because of the EU's neroses about direct-to-patient information) about cutting-edge treatments.

* As a result, therefore, the overall global prices for these new therapies will go up -- while they go down in the US. Why? Because, minus price controls for these cutting edge therapies, the rest of the world will be forced to carry their fair share of the R&D costs now being carried almost exclusively on the backs of the American health care consumer.

* But you can't get blood from a stone. If EU nations continue to abide by absurd health technology assessment protocols they will simply say there is not sufficient "evidence" to showi that these new, more targeted (and, therefore, safer) therapies are of sufficient "added benefit."

Result? More American health care holidays for those Europeans who can afford it. And for those who cannot -- zero access to 21st century medicine.

Denial is more than just a river in Brussels.

Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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