Congress is considering measures to address the high price of prescription drugs. Democrats have called for more government control over the health care system, namely imposing price controls on prescription drugs. If implemented, price controls would destroy American medical innovation and raise drug prices for all Americans.
In contrast, Republicans are focusing on solutions that will use market forces to bring down prescription drug costs. In a letter to House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.), Ways and Means Republican Leader Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Republican Leader Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) emphasized their opposition to price controls.
As the letter notes, Congressional Republicans are ready and willing to work with Democrats in a bipartisan fashion to lower prescription drug prices. Brady and Nunes want to target overpriced drugs, empowering patients to choose the most affordable medicines, and eliminating Medicare incentives that raise drug prices and reward bad actors.
Brady and Nunes rightly recognize that importing foreign price controls for medicine will destroy medical innovation in the U.S. They state:
“To protect the hope of future medical breakthroughs, Republicans reject Washington price controls that limit American’s access to live-saving medicines many families are counting on. We recognize that the Medicare Part B and D programs are in need of reform. But empowering unaccountable, unelected bureaucrats to deny coverage of certain drugs and restrict formulary choice is not the answer. Americans’ access to innovative drugs is unparalleled. As this Committee works together to fix skewed incentives in the drug pricing market, it must be mindful to avoid policies that truly jeopardize innovation.”
In looking for ways to address high drug costs, Congress should reject price controls and other anti-free market policies that would raise drug prices for the U.S. Instead, Congress should focus on free-market solutions that will deliver real relief to the American people.