United States Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) wants to do something to address the rising — and rigged — costs of generic prescription drugs.
According to a report from the Washington Post, an investigation of over a dozen drug executives, representing companies that manufacture more than 300 separate generic drugs, is currently ongoing. It is alleged that there was a spirited effort by those executives to keep prices the same between their respective corporations, and to go after other companies that might try and sell drugs for lower costs.
That prompted Warren to write an op-ed calling for the United States government to go into the drug manufacturing business itself, when and if companies continue to engage in less-than-scrupulous practices.
“This crisis calls for action,” Warren wrote in her opinion piece. “That is why I’m introducing legislation to authorize the public manufacture of generic drugs wherever drug companies have warped markets to drive up prices.”
Warren recognized that many criticisms would be leveled against her proposal, including charges that such a plan would go against the tenets of a “free market.”
“But [drug companies aren’t] operating in a free market; they’re operating in a market that’s rigged to line their pockets and limit competition,” Warren pointed out.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren will release a bill on Tuesday that would effectively create a government-run pharmaceutical manufacturer to mass-produce generic drugs and bring down prices https://t.co/ffmrUEl94H
— POLITICO (@politico) December 18, 2018
The consequences of these companies’ collective greed is dire for many in the nation, Warren recognized. She pointed out that “[m]illions of Americans are skipping required doses” of their prescribed medication simply because they can’t pay the high prices, even on generic drugs.
Under her proposal, the government, under the direct authority of the Department of Health and Human Services, would either create prescription drugs itself or contract out other companies to do so at low costs.
Warren added that the goal wasn’t to destroy companies that manufacture drugs.
“Public manufacturing” of prescription drugs by or contracted out from the U.S. government “will be used to fix markets, not replace them,” she said.