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Commentary

Editorial: Drug Trade
Washington Post, 1-13-05

The Washington Post agrees that “legalizing importation would be bad policy,” and that the “current system is…politically and morally unsustainable.” The Post says that it isn’t fair that American consumers pay top-dollar for their medicines while other nations – like Canada and Germany – impose price controls on pharmaceuticals and free ride on American innovation.

The Post thinks that the “U.S. government ought to intervene, at the international level, to push harder for more equitable drug prices around the world.” This has begun to happen “in a very minor way,” for instance in the recent U.S.-Australia free trade agreement, but much more needs to be done. “If the Bush administration does care about inequities in international drug pricing, it should start using its diplomatic and trade leverage more aggressively to address them.”



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