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Commentary

A rebuttal on ‘half-truths’
Robert Goldberg, Ph.D., Washington Times, 7-8-05

This article is actually a letter to the editor by Manhattan Institute senior fellow Bob Goldberg in response to Representative (R, KY) Anne Northup’s letter attacking Goldberg’s op-ed “Stealing U.S. Drug Patents.”

While the exchange should be read in its entirety, Goldberg’s basic assertion is that prescription drug importation (which Rep. Northup supports) from countries with price controls on U.S. made drugs undercuts the property rights of U.S. pharmaceutical companies, reducing their incentives to create new medicines and hurting the U.S. economy.

Under the [legislation Northup supports, the] Pharmaceutical Market Access Act of 2005, companies would be prohibited from setting their own prices here or at home and from deciding whom they want to sell to and at what terms and in what amounts.In essence, Mrs. Northup supports handing the power to set prices and volumes to foreign governments and foreign wholesalers.
And that's before she decided to sponsor a bill that would prohibit the U.S. trade representative from negotiating trade agreements that would stop the importation of all products that have artificially lower prices due to government price controls or subsidies.


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