Fix cost of meds or lose the buisness

The high cost of prescription drugs and that market’s maddening complexity have become almost more than the private sector can bear.

A fight taking place in Washington right now is over how much control the federal government should exert over the prices of drugs that Medicare buys for its millions of clients.

… Bills offered by Democratic U.S. senators, including Sherrod Brown of Ohio, would require drugmakers to negotiate under a gun.

If drug makers refuse to sell a drug at what Medicare considers a fair price, the federal government would be able to award a license to a competing drug maker to make that same drug as a generic at a price that Medicare considers fair.

The Republican-controlled Senate is balking at the government taking over the prescription drug business.

But the Senate cannot refuse to act. Nor can President Trump, who has promised to find ways to address the high cost of prescription drugs, if he wants to have a record of legislative success to run for re-election on.

… Bringing sanity, access, cost control, and transparency to the prescription-drug market demands a more vigorous role for the government.

There’s just no way around it.

… The pharmaceutical industry is set to have its wings clipped, eventually, and should negotiate a program that brings some predictability and reasonable pricing to the cost of prescription drugs. The alternative is, quite simply, creeping expropriation of the industry.

— The Toledo Blade; Online: