It’s the Monopolies, Stupid

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At the core of the nation’s drug pricing problem is one fundamental fact: pharmaceutical companies enjoy government-sanctioned and -enforced monopolies over the supply of many drugs.

In a new To the Point post, Commonwealth Fund President David Blumenthal, M.D., discusses the largely unregulated drug market that enables manufacturers to set prices as high as the market will bear until a patent expires, while also allowing generic drug monopolies that depress competition among traditionally lower-priced medications.

As long as pharmaceutical companies enjoy uncontested market power to set prices for many patented and generic drugs,” Blumenthal writes, “those prices will remain a huge problem for Americans and their elected representatives.” Read the post