A good article on the pointlessness of drug reimportation from Candad as a panacea in the States.
Placement is on the front page, upper left. It continues into the unfamiliar-to-some Business section.
My beefs - (1) they flirt for too long with price controls before getting to the cogent arguments against them.
(2) why place it in the easily-overlooked Saturday edition?
(3) why can't Bush make these arguments? I'll cite:
Even the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that allowing Canadian drug imports would have a "negligible" impact on drug spending.
C'mon, George, that should be memorable. Or maybe he does not want to get in the habit of citing the CBO, since they have said plenty of other things, too.
More on a Bush policy shift here.
UPDATE: From John Kerry's website on his health care plan - re-importation appears in the third bullet point:
Cut Your Premiums
Cover All Americans With Quality Care
Cut the Cost of Prescription Drugs
The Kerry-Edwards plan will reduce prescription drug prices by allowing the re-importation of safe prescription drugs from Canada, overhauling the Medicare drug plan, ensuring low-cost drugs, and ending artificial barriers to generic drug competition.
Here is what Kerry said in the third debate:
KERRY: The reason health care costs are getting higher, one of the principal reasons is that this administration has stood in the way of common-sense efforts that would have reduced the costs. Let me give you a prime example.
In the Senate we passed the right of Americans to import drugs from Canada. But the president and his friends took it out in the House, and now you don't have that right. The president blocked you from the right to have less expensive drugs from Canada.
As noted below, the CBO's word of choice to describe the prospective cost savings - "negligible".
And this old post still resonates.
UPDATE 2: Here is the CBO study. It mkaes the (painfully) obvious points that foreign government will probably restrict re-exports rather than experience shortages, and that drug companies won't sell US volumes to Canada (or some other foreign country) just to watch Canadian middlemen re-export them to the US. The conclusion:
H.R. 2427, for example, which would have permitted importation from a broad set of industrialized countries, was estimated to reduce total drug spending by $40 billion over 10 years, or by about 1 percent.(14) Permitting importation only from Canada would produce a negligible reduction in drug spending.
I know neither Kerry nor Edwards has spent much time in the Senate these days, but their staffers are surely aware of this. They are peddling snake oil here. Say anything.
HELP WANTED: Can anyone find a link to a serious economist who is arguing that re-importing drugs from Canada will result in significant cost savings to the US consumer? Life is full of surprises, and I would hate to miss that one.
NOT THIS HELP: We hear from our pharmaceutical rep, who praises the Times.