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Pharma’s Red Herring

posted by Clare Krusing

on August 24, 2015

Whenever drugmakers can’t come up with a sound argument against good policy, they roll out their time-tested “price controls” diversion. Please.

While a large majority of consumers say the cost of drugs is “unreasonable,” drugmakers will do anything to shift the discussion away from solutions to the growing prescription drug cost crisis. Instead of answering why they don’t support basic transparency around drug prices, they want to talk about price controls – a policy proposal that health plans don’t support.

Ironically, it’s the pharmaceutical companies that are supporting another type of price controls.  They’ve lobbied in state after state for new laws that would force insurers to cap what they can charge for … wait for it … pharmaceuticals!  At the same time, they take no responsibility for the underlying (and dramatically escalating) price of their drugs.  Their goal is simple: hide the cost of pharmaceuticals in premiums and avoid consumer outrage at their rising prices.  Instead of trying to divert attention from transparency proposals, perhaps they could simply explain why transparency is a bad idea.

This latest diversion by drugmakers is just another in a long line of red herrings – and this one is starting to stink.