This article will discuss a recently proposed bill, The Affordable Prescription Drugs Act (APDA), and how it will attempt to strike a balance between reducing prices to make essential drugs more available and affordable, and working with pharmaceutical companies to make sure they profit and invest their money into research and development of new essential drugs. It argues that the APDA increases competition in the market place, thus reducing the price of prescription drugs, while still allowing pharmaceutical companies to profit from their inventions. In reaching this conclusion this article examines the bill itself, how to define an essential drug, whether current prices are fair, Congress' attitude towards these prices, the drug industry's justifications for high prices, and presents a rebuttal argument against those justifications.
Note, The Affordable Prescription Drugs Act: A Solution for Today's High Prescription Drug Prices, 16 J.L. & Health 145 (2001-2002)