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Comment & Response
September 10, 2019

Proposals to Lower Medication Costs—Reply

Author Affiliations
  • 1Duke Forge, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina
  • 2United States of Care, Minneapolis, Minnesota
JAMA. 2019;322(10):982-983. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.10395

In Reply We agree with Dr Cohen and colleagues that any solution to the escalation of drug pricing must support continuing innovation and drug development. Unfortunately, their critique presents a set of false choices that offers no remedy to the problem that a growing number of patients are experiencing serious health consequences from inability to afford the high prices of innovator medicines in the United States.

First, in touting “unrivaled access to new treatments” in the United States, they erase the difference between the general availability of a drug after receiving marketing approval and access to a drug for people with constrained finances. Wealthy and well-insured people in the United States generally have access to new drugs, while many people without financial coverage do not have access to critical medicines, resulting in significant harm. We do not believe that responsible measures taken to ensure reasonable drug prices will reduce the availability of effective new drugs.

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