January 11, 2017
We have just learned that the Senate may consider amendments that would allow American consumers to import prescription drugs from foreign countries during the upcoming budget resolution and reconciliation legislative process to repeal Obamacare. If the Senate takes up these amendments and tries to repeal many of the Obamacare provisions, it must not replace one form of price control for another. Many foreign countries have adopted a largely socialized system for prescription drugs, schemes that create artificially low prices for many of their citizens. At the core of these schemes is the defining principle of socialism: the elimination of private property rights–in this case, intellectual property rights.
Enticed by the predictions of achieving below-market prices for prescription drugs, some in the Senate wish to import other countries’ socialism into our largely free-market system. The free market has allowed for an unprecedented growth in wealth, individual freedom and personal enrichment for people throughout the world. It also has been the force that has incentivized the research and development of medical breakthroughs and miracle drugs. The solution to achieving cheaper and better drugs is not to adopt foreign countries’ socialist policies, but to encourage the rest of the world to end their parasitical relationship with American consumers and to restore free-market policies in their own countries. The Senate must resist the temptation to achieve a short-term benefit that will end in long-term calamity.
We urge Members of Congress to stand firm against these types of measures, which would simply trade one form of price control for another as well as undermine the incentives that generate the medicine in the first place.
Dan Schneider, ACU Executive Director
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