Wednesday, September 21, 2005

They Just Don't Get It

The DC government passed a bill on Tuesday that bans pharmaceutical companies from selling prescription drugs at an "excessive price", which is defined as 30 percent over the comparative price in Germany, Canada, Australia or the United Kingdom. When are local and state governments going to realize that the reason that Germany, Canada, Australia and other countries have such cheap drugs is that their governments subsidizes the costs of the prescription drugs, and this idea that drug companies just like to stick it to Americans because we're such a wealthy country is a myth. Not to mention, this policy if it passes all court challenges (and that seems to like a big if to me), it will actually do nothing to reduce the costs of prescription drugs for citizens in DC. How you ask? DC is unfortnately a pretty small area and almost all of the residents live within a 15 minute car ride of Maryland or Virginia. Thus, what the drug companies will do is stop selling their product in DC pharmacies and sell more of their product in Maryland and Virginia, which does not have price controls on prescription drugs. All this bill does is hurt the DC pharmaceutical businesses and inconvenience many of its residents who will have to make a longer commute to get their needed medications. So way to go DC City Council for passing a bill that will have the exact opposite effect of what you intended to achieve.