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OpenMarket: Gregory Conko

  • Trump’s Drug Price Controls are a Lousy Deal for Patients

    September 15, 2020
    Prescription drug prices are popular targets for lawmakers. Still, it came as a surprise when President Trump issued an executive order imposing price controls on pharmaceuticals purchased through Medicare. This administration has done an admirable job touting the benefits of slashing red tape. So, President Trump should know that price controls on prescription drug are likely to backfire.
  • Trump’s Drug Price Control Orders Are Bound to Backfire

    July 27, 2020
    At a White House gathering last Friday, President Trump announced four new executive orders intended to restrict the ways pharmaceutical companies set the price of prescription drugs. Those new rules are likely to backfire. They may produce modestly lower prices for some patients in the short term, but everyone will bear the burden of higher prices and fewer treatment options in the long run.
  • The Man Who Fed the World, And the Film that Condemned Him for It

    April 22, 2020
    The first indication that PBS’s new documentary on agronomist Norman Borlaug will not be overly laudatory is its title. Anti-hunger activist Leon Hesser called his biography of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize winner The Man Who Fed the World. But film writer/director/producer Rob Rapley was only willing to call Borlaug The Man Who Tried to Feed the World. Still, while the program struggles to find fault with Borlaug and his methods, the positives cannot help but shine through.
  • Regulation, Confusion, and the Irony of Emergency COVID-19 Testing

    March 16, 2020
    By now, readers are aware that testing in the United States for the novel coronavirus COVID-19 has been embarrassingly slow. Less well known is that overregulation is largely to blame. And the biggest obstacle to more expedient testing has been, ironically, a law intended to expedite treatment during public health emergencies.
  • HHS Price Disclosure Rule Will Not Make Medicines More Affordable

    February 12, 2020
    In his State of the Union Address, President Trump renewed his commitment to “lower[ing] the cost of health care and prescription drugs” and “requir[ing] drug companies, insurance companies, and hospitals to disclose real prices to foster competition and bring costs way down.” His administration’s plan to lower pharmaceutical prices by tying them to foreign countries’ price controls has attracted significant criticism. Unfortunately, while more transparency in health care pricing would be beneficial, the price disclosure mandate Trump wants would do nothing to help consumers and would have no effect on price competition. It’s also unconstitutional.
  • New Drug Price Proposal Light on Competition, Heavy on Bureaucracy

    September 6, 2016

  • Letter to Congress: Experts Urged House to Reject Mandatory GMO Labeling Bill

    July 14, 2016

    In advance of a House vote today concerning mandatory GMO labeling, myself and other policy experts on biotechnology, consumer, and agricultural policy sent a letter to lawmakers explaining the problems with that plan:

    The House is expected to vote this week on the Senate’s mandatory GMO labeling legislation, and may do so without even allowing any amendments, despite the House having already passed its own GMO bill that created a voluntary labeling system.

    A group of free-market GMO experts released the following statement today regarding the House possibly rubberstamping the Senate GMO bill:

    “The House is about to completely ignore its voluntary labeling bill that it passed last year with bipartisan support and cave to a poorly considered Senate bill that was developed behind closed doors.

    “As the...

  • Nobel Prize Winners Denounce Greenpeace Opposition to GMOs

    June 29, 2016

    For decades, the environmental activist group Greenpeace has been among the most vocal, and oftentimes vicious, opponents of biotechnology and genetically engineered crops. The group has lobbied for bans on GE crops and gone as far as destroying field tests in...
  • Welcome Kent Lassman, CEI’s New President

    March 21, 2016

    Earlier today, I had the pleasure of announcing that the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s board of directors has selected Kent Lassman to be the next president of CEI.

    I was a member of our search committee, and our task was to find an intelligent, charismatic, and effective leader who embraces CEI’s feisty approach to promoting economic liberty, innovation, and prosperity. We were lucky to have interviewed nearly two dozen fine candidates, any number of whom would have made a great choice. In the end, though, the search committee and board agreed that Kent would be the best person to lead CEI into the future.

  • CEI Looks Ahead to 2016

    December 31, 2015
    Four years ago, I had the privilege—and the daunting task—of searching for a new president to lead CEI, when founder Fred Smith decided it was time for him to step down. Our six-person search committee set out to find an intelligent and charismatic leader with a positive vision for defending individual liberty and free enterprise, and the focus to lead us toward achieving those goals. We pored over scores of resumes, held dozens of interviews with many highly qualified candidates, and eventually selected Lawson Bader as our unanimous choice to be the next CEI president.

    Following an organization’s founder as president is a formidable job. But Lawson rose to the challenge, and he proudly led CEI in some of its most important battles: fighting the Obama administration’s energy rationing policies, the National Labor Relations Board’s onerous employment rules, the Treasury Department and...


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