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Leading policy-makers and scholars explain how market forces, deregulation, and consumer choice can work to improve health care for all Americans.

Commentary

Medical progress; Health breakthroughs worth the price
Robert Goldberg, Ph.D., Washington Times, 12-7-04

Robert Goldberg is director of the Center for Medical Progress at the Manhattan Institute, as well as a frequent contributor to Medical Progress Today. Here he highlights a new government report showing that “44 percent of all Americans use medicines, an increase of about 5 percent from a few years ago.” This increase has less to do with marketing and more to do with efficacy, as prescription drugs turn out to be more effective and less costly than other forms of health care.

As a result, Americans are living longer and are less likely to die of heart disease, stroke, or cancer.

The problem is that Americans take this state of affairs for granted and are only too eager to “expand the role of government in running health care” and inflict price controls on prescription drugs. According to a study recently released by the Center for Medical Progress, “if the government applies Medicaid or VA price controls to the Medicare drug benefit, it will reduce real drug prices by 67.5 percent, reduce research and development spending by 39.4 percent, or $372 billion, over the next decade and cost Americans 277 million life-years.” Instead of crippling medical progress through price controls, “we need to spend more money on better medicines for the most expensive illnesses,” while improving access to information that allows us to spend our resources more wisely.



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