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John Adams Blog

The blog of The Antient and Honourable John Adams Society, Minnesota's Conservative Debating Society www.johnadamssociety.org

Saturday, February 12, 2005

A Simple Fix for Medicare Drug Coverage

It's looking like the Medicare drug benefit is a financial disaster, costing several times more than the initial estimates and transferring more of our national wealth from the current young and middle aged to the current old. So here's a quick fix, which could be phased in. Any senior gets any drug they want for free, as long as its patent has expired and is otherwise not hugely expensive, and they buy from the cheapest supplier of that drug. (Patents are for 20 years from the date of patent filing. But because patents must be applied for before the start of the clinical trial process that demonstrates drugs to be safe and effective, the effective life of drug patents tends to be 7-12 years.) After the patent has expired, drug profits are pretty low. It's hard to argue that its a civil right to have the latest and greatest from the evil drug companies.