Me too drugs

There is a very interesting series of blog posts at the Economist’s Free Exchange blog. Part I: Me too! Me too! Part II: More on me-toos Part III: We talk back Here’s a quotation from part I: “In what other industry does anyone under the age of sixty still believe that each product category should…

Increase copays and increase medical spending?

Most economists believe that increasing the price of an item will decrease demand for the item. Health care is no different from any other good. If you increase the copayment or coinsurance rate, people will consume fewer medical services. The famous RAND Health Insurance Experiment (HIE) demonstrated that higher coinsurance rates discourage medical care consumption.…

Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Institute’s Center for Medical Progress has some interesting articles on health care policy.  The Center “…is dedicated to articulating the importance of medical progress and the connection between free-market institutions…” One paper of note is by Vernon, Santerre and Giaccotto (“Are Drug Price Controls good for your Health“).  The authors examine the Medicare…

“Black Market” Pharmaceuticals

In June of 2005, a pharmaceutical named BiDil used to combat heart failure was approved by the FDA. While this is not a notable event—there are many drugs to treat heart failure—the approval is novel since it was only approved for African-American patients. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the FDA “…approved BiDil for use…

Prizes or patents

Josesph Stiglitz’s recent article (“Give prizes not patents“) in the New Scientist voices a valid concern that patents may be stifling–not enhancing–innovation.  He worries that IP (Intellectual Property) attorneys are involved in an “enclosure movement” by which a firm tries to patent a new idea as well as many complimentary or peripheral ideas which surround the…

Phree Trade for Pharmaceuticals

The Envisioning 2.0 (“Drug Importation“) speaks to the fact that the FDA has consistently tried to prohibit the importation of drugs from abroad, despite the fact that drug importation has broad popular support.  Further the post cites a USA Today report which says that the US (but not Canada) has a serious drug counterfeiting problem. 

Is Price Inflation Different for the Elderly?

One Social Security reform often suggested is to change the indexation of benefits from a wage inflation measure to a price inflation measure, such as the Consumer Price Index (CPI).  Critics argue that the price of healthcare has increased more than overall CPI and since the elderly spend a higher percentage of their income on…