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Cap drug prices with policy – here’s how

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

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Bob More calls on the drug industry to hold managers accountable if they engage in opportunistic pricing (Nature 555, 561; 2018). In the meantime, the industry should embrace progressive policy measures that would protect people by demanding transparency from drug firms.

Maryland’s General Assembly is leading the way, having passed a landmark law last year to prosecute companies that increase the prices of off-patent drugs. This year, the legislature aims go a step further and create a commission to review drug costs that insists on transparency from pharmaceutical firms to ensure fair pricing for consumers. Companies would be required to report and justify high prices for new drugs and large price increases for older ones (see

Rather than supporting such efforts to curb bad practices, however, trade associations such as the US Biotechnology Innovation Organization and PhRMA (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America) have sent lobbyists to Maryland’s state capital to oppose such measures (see

Nature 556, 436 (2018)

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