November 18, 2018

ANOTHER PROGRESSIVE MYTH DEBUNKED: What the Prescription Drug Debate Gets Wrong. If we want new drugs for Alzheimer’s and the other ravages of old age, the last thing we need is European-style price controls at the pharmacy. But that’s the dream of Democrats, and the Trump administration is unfortunately threatening to go along with it.

This campaign is based on the same myth that was used to sell Obamacare: Americans are dying because their health-care system is an international disgrace. While it’s true that Canadians’ and western Europeans’ life expectancy is higher than Americans’, it’s not because of their price-controlled drugs and government health services. As I write in City Journal, the gap is due to variables that have nothing to do with health-care systems: the higher rates in America of poverty, obesity, smoking, homicide, fatal accidents and other factors.

The gap would be even larger if it weren’t for the fact that Americans receive better health care, particularly for heart disease and cancer. And the chief reason that American patients fare better than European patients is that they get earlier access to more new drugs. A dollar spent on drugs does more to combat disease and disability than a dollar spent anywhere else.

Yes, Canadians and Europeans pay less at the pharmacy, but they’re getting what they pay for. Why would Trump want to copy them? He should look at the numbers. Americans already get a much better deal.

 

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