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Hosted by: American Enterprise Institute

Breakthrough drugs have saved millions of lives and improved the health of countless people around the world. Unfortunately, these drugs are also expensive, leading many political leaders to call for government regulation of pharmaceutical prices either directly or indirectly, using tools such as cost-effectiveness analysis or by allowing reimportation. In fact, the House version of the stimulus bill earmarked $1.1 billion for comparative effectiveness research, which enables the government to assign a monetary value to the health benefits of a drug, eventually enabling policymakers to choose to cover only those medications that are deemed "cost effective."

In their book Pharmaceutical Price Regulation: Public Perceptions, Economic Realities, and Empirical Evidence (AEI Press, January 2009), John A. Vernon and Joseph H. Golec argue that price controls inevitably lead to a trade-off between lower drug prices today and innovative drug breakthroughs in the future. In the current economic climate, government officials faced with budget shortfalls and frequent elections may be tempted to succumb to the cheaper, more popular short-term goal of lowering drug prices. However, doing so will rob pharmaceutical companies of the profit and capital they need to achieve their long-term research and development goals, which bring new drugs to market that improve quality of life and reduce health care costs over the long haul.

At this event, the authors will discuss their findings and defend the role of the free market in the pharmaceutical industry. They will be joined by Sean Tunis of the Center for Medical Technology Policy. AEI's Scott Gottlieb, M.D., will moderate.

Official Website: http://www.aei.org/events/type.upcoming,eventID.1888,filter.all/event_detail.asp

Added by insideronline on February 12, 2009

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