The Drug Price Controversy

The Drug Price Controversy

Resident Clinton holds that pharmaceutical companies are overcharging patients for their medicines and that price controls are needed to stop the abuse. So far, it appears that Clinton may be more successful than Bush in bringing his own brand of drug barons to heel.

Which is not to say that an oversized and pugnacious pharmaceutical industry is sinking into a sea of mea culpas. But companies are showing signs of bendng under public criticism. A few are seeking to develop voluntary price controls. Others are scrambling to protect profits and privileges. When the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) recently published a 360-page tome on drug costs and profits, seven companies, calling themselves Rx Partners and representing some of the industry’s true giants, countered with a two-million-dollar, ninety- day public relations blitz intended to persuade Congress and the people of their fair pricing policies. The Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PMA), a 112—member consortium, is showering seven million dollars on the same cause.

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