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A Pharmaceutical Free Lunch?
Bandow writes on the D.C. city council legislation that we discussed above:
A council committee has approved legislation to create a new “illegal trade practice” – selling drugs for more than city politicians decide is fair. The bill would allow Washington, D.C. to transfer the companies patent rights to other firms through compulsory licensing. … Since the Constitution requires payment of “just compensation” for government takings, [the bill’s sponsor David Catania] redrafted his legislation to target drug “overpricing”… City politicians would decide which prices were fair and which were not.
D.C. politicians want a “free lunch”, i.e. medical innovation on the cheap. Their policy is neither effective nor prudent, although it remains an attractive strategy for “politicians who are most concerned about winning votes in the next election a year or two hence rather than ensuring the availability of medicines a decade or two hence.”
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