Prescription drugs are tremendously expensive, but the solution is not a wasteful new one-size-fits-all government drug entitlement. To lower drug prices, we must eliminate government interference that prevents healthy free-market price competition.October 7, 2003: Paying Dearly for Free Prescription Drugs by Ron Paul
First and foremost, we must eliminate the middleman in health care. The HMO Act of 1973, coupled with tax rules that do not allow individuals to use pre-tax dollars to pay for health care, combine to force millions of Americans to deal with HMO and Medicare bureaucrats…
… The Food and Drug Administration is also directly responsible for high drug costs. Pharmaceutical companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars to bring a single drug to market because of FDA rules. Often FDA approval is never obtained, no matter how much a company spends developing a drug. So pharmaceutical makers naturally try to recoup their huge investments by charging high prices and lobbying to keep exclusive drug patent periods as lengthy as possible. We need to understand that the FDA does far more harm than good, both in terms of drug prices and the incalculable chilling effect it has on needed drug research. With less FDA interference, patents could be shortened and drug development costs reduced. This would allow greater price competition between drug companies.
It does not matter if the Canadians or Germans employ price controls. Their drug prices may be artificially low, while ours may be artificially high. This simply shows that both the U.S. and other countries interfere in the market. It is not a justification for further intervention in the market by prohibiting reimportation. American consumers should not be punished simply because other governments have foolish economic policies. August 5, 2003: Drug Reimportation Increases Medical Freedom by Ron Paul
Pharmaceutical companies certainly own the drugs they produce, and they have every right to sell them at any price they choose. They also have the right not to sell their products to foreign pharmacies, or to condition sales on an agreement that such pharmacies will not reimport into the U.S. They do not have a right, however, to use government to prevent Americans from buying drugs from any willing seller they choose, regardless of where that seller may be located.