|Selected research from leading health care experts whose findings have a direct bearing on public policies effecting medical progress. Research is chosen based on its quality and relevance by the Medical Progress Today editorial staff.||
From The Field: Closing The Doughnut Hole: No Easy Answers
Patricia Danzon, a professor at the Wharton Business School, takes issue with the savings estimate Anderson et al. attribute to Medicare (see above paper) if price controls were imposed on the U.S. pharmaceuticals market. She argues that the price savings they expect are the result of "price differentials that are not fully representative, and [that] adopting foreign prices may be both problematic and inappropriate."
In an earlier study, Danzon found that a larger, volume weighted sample of international drug prices (taking into account substantial generic drug sales in the U.S.) showed that there was a "net average discount of 8 percent" versus U.S. prices. She also noted that drug price differentials between the U.S., UK, France, and Canada were roughly in line with differences in per capita GDP between the countries-e.g., "drug price differentials roughly reflected income differentials across industrialized nations", and that "differential pricing is an essential step toward making drugs affordable for less developed nations", including price differences between developed nations like the U.S. and Canada. Danzon believes that instead of price controls or drug importation, policymakers should try to do more "cost-effectiveness" analysis of pharmaceutical and biotech products, as well as targeting more subsidies towards low-income seniors.
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