Consumerism vs. Populism

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  • 01/18/2008
The “authorized generics” debate has made it to the other side of the pond. The Financial Times reports that the EU Commission is concerned that the price of medicines is rising -- while innovation declines—and will investigate whether the pharmaceutical industry abuses patent rights to delay the introduction of low-cost generic alternatives.

The Financial Times writes, “The answer may be that collusion between companies keeps prices high. But the pricing of medicines in much of Europe is more government-controlled than in the US. Companies may profit from national pricing. In the UK, where there is a freer approach, competition is more intense and discounting heavy. Not enough deregulation may be the bigger problem.”

Here is the complete Financial Times editorial:

For more discussion of the authorized generics issue, along with an economic analysis of the same, please see:

The conclusion of the Financial Times editorial is spot on – and something we should take to heart on our side of the Atlantic as well – that we must be careful that “a consumer-first approach does not become a populist one.”

And -- when you consider some of the health care rhetoric being bandied about by the Presidential candidates -- that’s a notion worthy of serious consideration.

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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