Obamacare Repeal: What May Replace It
Allowing Drug Imports From Other Countries continued...
Pros: By allowing Americans to legally buy medications from other countries in which the government regulates the price of drugs, they’ll save on their medication costs.
Cons: “What this policy is saying is that we won’t regulate drug prices here in the U.S., but we’ll take advantage of the fact that other countries do,” Blumberg says.
And, because it’s likely that insurers or other third parties would help facilitate sales, Haislmaier says any hoped-for cost savings will probably be eaten up by middlemen.
“You go to Canada and buy drugs and get them cheaper because they regulate prices and we don’t. You buy it for $100 instead of $200. What happens when you get a middleman to do it for you? Someone goes to Canada and they don’t sell it to you for $100, they sell it to you for $190. They pocket $90.”
Given potential problems with this approach, Haislmaier is skeptical about the likelihood of policies allowing drugs to be imported from overseas being included in any future health plans.
“I don’t see it taking place.”