Drug prices here in the United States are absurd, which shouldn’t surprise anybody since drug manufacturers hold government granted monopolies on their products. However, the plebeians are screeching and after a while that sound can get annoying to our overlords. In the hopes of reestablishing a serene environment, our overlords have been considering strategies to bring drug prices down. To accomplish this they could simply remove the monopolies they granted to the drug companies and let competition bring drug prices down or they could pay government employees to fly down to Mexico and buy the drugs for less. Guess which strategy is being fielded first:
Amid a flurry of national proposals to bring exorbitant U.S. drug prices in line with other countries’ charges, one Utah insurer has a different option for patients:
Pay them to go to Mexico.
PEHP, which covers 160,000 public employees and family members, is offering plane tickets to San Diego, transportation to Tijuana, and a $500 cash payout to patients who need certain expensive drugs for multiple sclerosis, cancer and autoimmune disorders.
It makes sense to try this strategy first. The pharmaceutical companies paid good money for their monopolies and revoking them would show bad faith on behalf of the government and that could dissuade other companies from paying to purchase monopolies.