Almost all other countries utilize GOVERNMENT-SET PRICING which results in substantially lower Rx costs for their citizens, leaving American consumers to heavily subsidize R&D innovation for new life saving prescription drugs for the entire world through higher costs. Here's a quick breakdown of the two ideas currently being considered by US government officials:
1. GOVERNMENT-SET PRICING: https://khn.org/news/pelosi-aims-for-feds-to-negotiate-drug-prices-even-for-private-insurers/
PROS: Could have an immediate impact at reducing Rx prices for consumers.
CONS: Will allow big government bureaucracy to play favorites. This approach will substantially stifle future Rx R&D investment and innovation. The life-saving Rx therapies of the future may never be developed. Government-set pricing in counties like the UK and Canada means some Rx therapies are simply not available since the government panel has concluded that they are too costly. Short-term economic backlash could be substantial. Example: if the government panel decides to arbitrarily reduce a blockbuster Rx price by 40%, the pharma company who makes the drug could be forced to layoff 1,000 workers to adjust for immediate loss of income.
2. FREE MARKET SOLUTION: https://khn.org/news/states-proposals-import-cheaper-drugs-trump-support-experiment/
PROS: Could have an immediate impact at reducing Rx prices for consumers. Eventually drug manufacturers will raise prices on other countries where the USA is importing Rx from. This will force other countries to pay their fair share of the R&D costs for life saving Rx therapies. If done correctly, this approach could create a fair global free market where costs are reduced for US consumers and Rx R&D investment is not substantially reduced.
CONS: Potential safety issues from counterfeiting. Differences in patent protection duration will need to be regulated. Drug costs for consumers outside of the USA will increase.