‘The solution here is not to replace markets, but to fix them…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., wants to break up general drug “cartels” by allowing the U.S. government to create its own basic prescriptive drugs.
Warren, who is expected to launch her 2020 presidential campaign in the near future, introduced a bill on Tuesday that seeks to increase competition and lower the price of prescriptions by creating a new unit in the Department of Health and Human Services responsible for manufacturing its own drugs.
Under the bill, the HHS’s new unit would create a generic version of drugs currently monopolized by one or two companies, if the price of the drug spikes or if the drug is in short supply.
“In market after market, competition is dying as a handful of giant companies spend millions to rig the rules, insulate themselves from accountability, and line their pockets at the expense of American families,” Warren said in a statement. “The solution here is not to replace markets, but to fix them.”
If passed, the bill would require the new HHS office to begin producing insulin within a year.
And in three years, it would need to be manufacturing at least 25 other treatments.
The pharmaceutical market currently operates under little regulation, but this bill would effectively turn the new federal health office into a generic drug company.
A spokeswoman for the Association for Accessible Medicines said it’s “hard to fathom why anyone would call this system broken or insist that the government commandeer the business of developing, manufacturing, and distributing these medicines,” according to the Washington Examiner.
“At best, this legislation is an unrealistic distraction from polices that would meaningfully reduce drug prices, such as combating patent abuse and cultivating a robust biosimilars market,” she said.
Last month, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., released a similar bill to tackle high drug prices.
But instead of creating a separate government entity to increase competition, Sanders’s bill would allow the government to grant licenses to private companies to produce various generic versions of expensive drugs.