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DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: Twitter: Dereklowe

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May 5, 2004

Price Hydraulics

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Posted by Derek

Just enough time to point out a rarity: a clear-headed article in the popular press about drug prices. Business Week has it, and it's worth a look. (Thanks to reader and colleague Joe C.) I'm glad to see the author acknowledge that efforts to control prices in one area often make them squirt upwards somewhere else.

Of course, the biggest example of that in drug prices is The Rest of the World versus the US. Holman Jenkins ran an article in the Wall Street Journal last week titled "Why Not Import Drugs From Fantasyland?", in which he, with gritted teeth, proposed the reimportation reducio ad absurdum: just take all US pharmaceuticals, toss them over the border into Canada, and reimport the lot. Ta-daa! Lower prices for everyone!

Mind you, many people would read that and say "Yeah! That's it! Under our noses, all along, the answer at last!" I just hope that there aren't a majority of this type in the Senate. . .

Comments (2) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Drug Prices


1. qetzal on May 5, 2004 10:10 PM writes...

Funny you should post on this today. I read this morning in my local paper that HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson is saying he now thinks it is inevitable that Congress will legalize drug reimportation.

The article also says Thompson will be advising Bush to stop opposing reimportation, but I couldn't find that claim in the on-line reports I read.

Interestingly, none of the big pharm stock prices seems to have reacted today. I don't know if that means investors consider Thompson's statement a non-issue, or if the street already assumes reimportation is inevitable and has priced it in, or if the news just hasn't gotten much play yet.

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2. Judson on May 27, 2004 10:43 PM writes...

If Healthcare were nationalized we wouldn't have this problem of drug price burden shifting. Of course we would get a lot of other annoying problems, but at least the rich and the poor and the big and the small would pay the same for their drugs.

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