The Fraser Institute is an independent research and educational organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto. Our mission is to measure, study, and communicate the impact of competitive markets and government intervention on the welfare of individuals.Which all sounds just lovely: more competitive markets and less government intervention and epecially that last part about the welfare of individuals. I'm all about the welfare of individuals, but the big-L Libertarians, who would have you believe that they're all about the welfare of the individual too, are either lying to you or they're not exactly the brightest bulbs in the chandelier.
I was researching another topic, thinking the Fraser Institute might have something to say about it [they do], when I stumbled over this little gem: Canada's Drug Price Paradox 2007. Self-annointed healthcare wonk that I am, I couldn't let it pass without comment.
Apparently Canadians pay about twice what we do for a generic prescription [we pay $9.39 on average for generics], but only about half what we pay for a name-brand prescription drug [they pay $51.12 on average for name brands]. According to FI, this is because the Canadian government artifically props up the prices of generic drugs. If Canadians were allowed to buy generic drugs as cheaply as we do, they'd save a ton of money.
Unfortunately, the author assumes that [a miracle occurs] the name-brand prices in this hypothetical free drug market will be just what they are now in the controlled Canadian drug market, even as the generics fall to American levels and that the percentage of Canadians [44% right now] choosing generics over name brands moves closer to the American percentage [63% of us].
Yep, apply the American model and those upper prices will be staying down at Canadian levels, not shooting up to astronomical American levels. I'm thinking the only way that will happen is if the evil manipulative Canadian guvmint steps in and artificially holds down the prices on name-brand drugs.