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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.

Selected Research

Report on Prescription Drug Importation
HHS Task Force on Drug Importation, 12-21-04

The Department of Health and Human Services Task Force on Drug Importation has released its much anticipated report on prescription drug importation. It concludes that individual importation of prescription drugs over the internet, the favored route today, carries with it significant risks. Any commercial program to import prescription drugs safely and in bulk (i.e., enough to meet a significant portion of U.S. demand) would be an enormously complex and costly endeavor.

In fact, the U.S. would have to make enormous outlays for very little overall savings – perhaps 1% or 2% at the margins. Over the long run, importation would probably increase pressure to impose price controls in the U.S., especially once it turned out that importation wasn’t the panacea its supporters have claimed.

Data on the effects of drug price controls imposed in other developed nations can be found in another document released yesterday, this time by the U.S. Department of Commerce: Pharmaceutical Price Controls in OECD Countries: Implications for U.S. Consumers, Pricing, Research and Development, and Innovation.

For more background on U.S. government attempts to control drug prices in the U.S., please see the Manhattan Institute report, Are Price Controls Good for Your Health?



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