The New York Times doesn't see price controls as a problem
Reader comment on: Richard Epstein on the Cancer Drug Shortage
Submitted by David (United States), Aug 30, 2011 15:02
Interesting but price controls are not mentioned by a New York Times editorial on the topic:
Nobody is sure just what is causing the shortages because drug manufacturers are not required to report any reasons to the F.D.A. But several factors are likely to be involved: contamination problems at some manufacturing plants, forcing unexpected production shutdowns; difficulties in getting pharmaceutical ingredients from suppliers, especially those abroad; reluctance to invest in production-line improvement for low-profit generics when high-priced brand-name drugs bring in far higher profits. Sweeping consolidation in the generic drug industry means that fewer companies are left in that market to make up for a shortage.
The shortages are forcing health care providers to buy more expensive products in the absence of cheap generics. Unscrupulous wholesalers have made matters worse by scooping up scarce drugs and offering them to hospitals at markups that often reach 20 times the normal price or more, according to a recent survey.
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