Campaigning in Ohio on Monday, Hillary Clinton will unveil a plan to make it easier for consumers to take legal action against “bad corporate actors,” citing Wells Fargo & Co and Mylan Pharmaceuticals.
California may soon drive a hole through Washington’s tolerance for — and protection of — price gouging on drugs. A measure on the November ballot, Proposition 61, would bar state agencies from paying more for prescription drugs than the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs does.
In cases where a determined unjustified price hike is accompanied by insufficient market competition, Clinton’s administration would intervene to purchase alternative drugs from comparably regulated markets or assist manufacturers in bringing the product to market in the United States.
Corporate price gouging is never nice. But gouging people on the price of medicines they rely on to stay alive is worse than not nice — it’s predaceously evil. And if you think corporate morality can’t go lower than that, how about gouging people on the price of a life-saving medicine in order to jack up the personal pay of a drug maker’s CEO?
Why could they get away with it? Because the United States Congress let them. The U.S. is the only advanced country that doesn’t routinely negotiate drug prices with the makers. (The Department of Veterans Affairs and Medicaid are exceptions.)
In response to the Martin Shkreli-style PR disaster, the company announced Thursday it has devised a supposed solution to the prohibitively high costs of the essential medicine. According to a statement from the corporation, the company plans to “further enhance access to EpiPen” by establishing a discount card and patient assistant system.