Ep. 139 Why Are Drug Prices So High in the U.S.?

19 May 2018     |     Tom Woods     |     6

Krugman is unconvinced by the Trump plan to get Americans lower drug prices, and tries to figure out why those prices are so high. Let’s just say that in this episode we help him do a better job of that….

Krugman Column

Just Saying Yes to Drug Companies” (May 14, 2018)

Book Mentioned

The Primal Prescription: Surviving the Sick Care Sinkhole, by Bob Murphy and Doug McGuff, MD

Contra Podcast (EconTalk)

Vincent Rajkumar on the High Price of Cancer Drugs

Related Episodes (Tom Woods Show)

Ep. 1124 Death by Regulation: The Truth About the FDA (Mary Ruwart)
Ep. 481 How Capitalism Can Fix Health Care (Josh Umbehr)
Ep. 225 Patents and Liberty (Stephan Kinsella)

The Contra Cruise!

Join Bob, Tom, and special guests for the third Contra Cruise — the best liberty week of the year!

Need More Episodes?

Tom and Bob have their own podcasts! Check out the Tom Woods Show and the Lara-Murphy Report.

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  • Lysander Spooner

    What happened to episode 138? 137 was posted on May 7th and now here is 139 on the 19th. But 138 is nowhere to be seen.

  • JimD

    Good discussion. Particularly liked Bob’s one sentence description of Obamacare: “make people get healthcare whether they wanted it or not”. Says a lot both positive and negative.

    Re the drug newsletter, take the point but maybe we now have best of all worlds: FDA + private newletter(s)? Also does the newsletter try to predict the FDA or does it analyze efficacy of drugs? Also wonder that it was 20 for 20 on FDA withdrawals. Did it predict more than 20? etc.

    Finally, Underwriters'(?) Lab is usually the libertarian example on FDA issues. I think somehow that makes evident the limitations of considering moving away from a government/FDA system – just not politically feasible.

    Thanks and always appreciate Tom’s comments to commentators.

  • Tasos Obscure

    I will say something people may find terribly radical, there are many things people don’t do because others find them completely unacceptable to the extent that individuals may act violently against someone acting in such a way.
    Human societies use this voluntary and involuntary processes to regulate behavior of one form or another.
    In a voluntary society people may spontaneously agree on some rough rules of thumb on what is acceptable as intellectual property and what isn’t.

  • LetsTryLibertyAgain

    Great episode! Thanks!

    Krugman seems to ignore the major reason that drug prices are so high – FDA regulations that represent a majority of the cost of a drug but add negative value for the consumer. It’s anathema to Krugman and his ilk, but we’d all be a lot better off without the FDA. There are stage IV cancer patients who are literally dying because of FDA regulations. The FDA wouldn’t want someone to get sick because there wasn’t ten years of expensive (and often rigged) experimental trials, but it’s OK to die from a 100% fatal disease because no drugs have been approved. Why not let the patient make that informed decision to try an experimental drug? It’s certainly better than no drug. There would be no better test of efficacy and the tests would be much less expensive than FDA regulated testing. The drug companies could offer the experimental drugs for free to terminally ill patients and everyone would win… except meddling federal bureaucrats who would no longer have the thrill of deciding who lives and who dies.