Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota recently introduced legislation called the SMART Prices Act, short for Strengthening Medicare and Reducing Taxpayer Prices.
Unfortunately, her cleverly named proposal isn’t “smart” at all. In fact, by accelerating and expanding the drug pricing provisions in last year’s Inflation Reduction Act, the legislation would usher in a medical Dark Age for patients.
What lawmakers in favor of the bill fail to grasp is that any short-term benefits of capping prices for existing medicines are quickly swamped by the rapid decline in new drug development that ensues. A lifesaving new drug — no matter the price — is always better than no drug at all.
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