As a matter of policy, except in rare circumstances, Free State Foundation scholars do not sign "coalition" letters in support or opposition to particular policies. But that does not mean we don't take note of them.
In this regard, I want to call your attention to a letter, dated January 25, directed to the federal government's Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMMS). The letter, which was by signed by 75 federal and state-based organizations, opposes an interim rule which would tie the prices paid for medicines in the Medicare program to the prices paid for those medicines in foreign countries, many of which have socialized health care systems that control prices without any regard whatever for the costs of producing drugs. That is the reason why those countries generally lag far behind the U.S. with respect to developing innovative new, often life-saving drugs.
As the letter explains, by incorporating a Most Favored Nation (MFN) model into the U.S. Medicare system, in reality the interim rule is importing a rigid regime of price controls that will have the adverse impact of diminishing innovation and investment by pharmaceutical manufacturers in the U.S. Accordingly, this MFN price control regime will not only harm consumers of medicines here in the U.S., but the world over, as new cutting-edge medicines become less available.
And, aside from those adverse ramifications, the use of the rarely-invoked interim rule procedure to implement a concededly major change in U.S. health care policy, raises serious legal issues.
For the above reasons, and those explained more fully in the coalition letter, the interim rule should be withdrawn.