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Cato on Drug Reimportation; Cato Tugs Stray Back Onto the Reservation; and Other Posts

Assembled below are various posts and articles I, and a few others, have made on the topic of drug reimportation and the controversy about whether drug reimportation from countries with price caps should be reimported into the US even though this would undercut the higher patent-caused monopoly price charged here. This started with some allegedly free market scholars associated with Cato coming out against drug reimportation, and, thus, against free trade, since they also support patents, namely Doug Bandow, Michael Kraus, and Richard Epstein:

More recently: See the Wall Street Journal editorial also opposing free trade for the sake of upholding US patent monopoly prices: “When Biden, Trump and DeSantis Agree on Something, Watch Out” (Jan. 10, 2024): “The real point of the Biden-Trump-DeSantis mind-meld is to import foreign drug price controls that Congress won’t pass. This will erode U.S. intellectual property protection that rewards innovation and investment.”

And now we have former/alleged libertarian David Henderson in the War Street Journal writing this embarrassing, cringe doozy: “Be Thankful for High Drug Prices,” by David R. Henderson and Charles L. Hooper (Feb. 4, 2024). Subtitle: “If Americans weren’t overcharged, we wouldn’t have innovative treatments”. The article is full-throated in defense of our insane patent system and the monopoly prices it supports. Embarrassing and ridiculous, especially as he used to pretend to be against IP (Jeff Tucker winning economist David Henderson over to the anti-IP side).

And now Reason implicitly endorses IP and patents by treating patents as property rights. Pathetic. The state taking back a monopoly privilege grant it never should have made is not a taking or a “grab.” Elizabeth Nolan Brown, Feds Make a Pharma Patent Grab A Biden administration ploy could give the federal government control over drug prices, Reason (March 2024).
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