Drug Reference Pricing Threatens Patient Health, Innovation

The Economic Standard cites Research Fellow Patrick Hedger and CEI’s event on drug reference pricing:

Some recent proposals to lower drug prices are not just counterproductive but dangerous, according to an international panel of expert economists convened by the Competitive Enterprise Institute at the National Press Club on Tuesday, November 5, 2019. The panelists warned that “foreign reference pricing” — a practice which forces lower prices on drugs based on specious comparisons with prices in other countries — will result in shortages of new medicines in the near term and deter innovation in the long term, meaning fewer breakthrough treatments.


Patrick Hedger, research fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, acknowledged that high drug prices are a problem, but cautioned that reference pricing is not a solution: “Without question, something needs to be done about the cost of prescription drugs and healthcare in general in the U.S. However, looking to countries with nationalized healthcare systems is not the answer. Patients in those countries face their own grim costs, such as the lack of new, lifesaving treatments.”

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