M.C. Escher By Way of Generic Drug Pricing

By Sara W. Koblitz — Though FDA does not have the legal authority to control or even directly address drug prices, Commissioner Gottlieb has certainly not shied away from the issue.  In fact, drug (and biologic) competition and accessibility is one of Dr. Gottlieb’s main efforts at the Agency (see e.g. discussions here and here).  Typically, the conversation about accessibility frames drug prices as too high, but the discussion has recently taken an interesting turn into questions about whether some drug prices are too low.  And it’s clear from the Commissioner’s latest FDA Voices Blog post on the issue, he understands the complicated economic principles behind this discrepancy, but questions abound about whether FDA can adequately address it.  Indeed, it seems like FDA is stuck in a bit of an M.C. Escher piece, in which its attempts to address drug pricing render the Agency stuck in an infinite loop of high drug prices. Much concern…

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