Price and Costs

On this page, you’ll find the Center’s research on the complex world of pharmaceutical pricing. Our focus will be breaking down current pharmaceutical pricing structures and processes and potential reforms to improve efficiency and innovation; evaluating the impact of regulatory-created inefficiencies such as Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) and the 340B program; and analyzing how policy proposals such as price controls and drug importation would undermine competition.

The imminent repeal of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is garnering most of the health care headlines, and rightly so. But, the focus on Obamacare should not overshadow other health care modifications that may be considered during the 115th Congress. Paramount among these proposals is the issue of drug importation. Currently, it is illegal to import drugs into the U.S. from other countries. It is rumored that several Senators will, in short order, attach amendments to the current budget resolution...

California is losing the battle against opioid addiction. Every 45 minutes, someone in the Golden State overdoses. Fifty percent more people overdose today than in 2006. Fortunately, the Food and Drug Administration just approved the anti-addiction treatment Probuphine. It’s an implant placed in a person’s upper arm, where it releases a steady stream of an anti-addiction drug called buprenorphine to help addicts stay sober. Medical breakthroughs like this one could become rarer if a ballot measure under consideration in California is ratified...

Imagine being denied treatment for cancer because Washington bureaucrats decided that a cutting-edge new therapy that could cure you just wasn’t “cost effective.” That’s already happening in Britain under its government-run health care system, the National Health Service. And Medicare officials are poised to bring similar policies here. The NHS’s “Cancer Drugs Fund” restricts physicians’ ability to prescribe half of all oncology medicines. If a medicine doesn’t extend the average cancer patient’s life span by a set length of time, which varies...

Like your iPhone? Federal officials designed it. Couldn't live without the Internet? Thank Uncle Sam — he invented it. Sick and need new medicine? Don't worry — the government is here to help. This fantastical line of thinking — that because the government funded basic, early-stage research, it can claim credit for a final product decades later — underpins the latest calls for more federal control of drug prices. Such calls are grossly ill-informed and demonstrate a deep misunderstanding of the drug...