NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Drug Affordability and the 21st Century Cures Act

December 8, 2016

NCPA Senior Fellow Devon Herrick writes for Townhall:

The high price of new drugs has become a political hot potato. Hillary Clinton made drug affordability a part of her platform --as did President-elect Donald Trump. To a significant degree, over-priced drugs are a problem partly caused by politicians. Congress allowed the regulatory regime at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to run rampant. But maybe the laws regulating drug discovery are beginning to change.

The House and Senate have passed the 21st Century Cures Act. Aside from $6 billion worth of mostly-unnecessary pork barrel spending, the Cures Act takes steps to reform the process of drug approval at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

A rational path to drug discovery is badly needed. Once a drug finally makes it through the approval process, it is guaranteed years of high monopoly prices due to the plethora of regulatory barriers that inhibit competition.

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