Note: I Get By with a Little Help from My 750-Dollar-Per-Tablet Friends: A Model Act for States to Prevent Dramatic Pharmaceutical Price Increases
By Alexander Walsdorf. Full Text Here.
What can be done to prevent pharmaceutical companies from dramatically increasing the price of their drugs or other products? The past few years have seen multiple high-profile examples of this occurrence, each time dominating the news cycle and serving as talking points for politicians to drum up support from their constituents. Yet, this practice has existed for decades, and to date, existing law does nothing to prevent dramatic price increases of pharmaceuticals. Indeed, current federal law—particularly patent law—condones this monopolistic-like behavior. Additionally, federal regulation designed to prevent patent holders from stifling legitimate competition rarely succeeds in doing so. Rather, pharmaceutical companies often get around such measures.
In light of our current inability to prevent dramatic pharmaceutical price increases, this Note proposes a solution in the form of a “Model Act”—a state-level statute designed to give states the ability to protect their citizens from the unconscionable decisions of pharmaceutical companies. The Model Act is bolstered by a variety of legal doctrines and is designed to avoid federal preemption. The Act gives states as much power as possible to enforce its wide-reaching provisions and simultaneously protects the legitimate business interests of pharmaceutical companies, thus offering a way to achieve the most effective outcome for consumers and businesses alike. The Model Act is the first state-level legislation designed to give states a meaningful ability to rebuff the unconscionable behavior of pharmaceutical companies.