The Conservative Case for Prescription Drug Reform
Health care experts are warning that the Obama administration’s health care reform plan would lead to the rise of a new drug.
In a new paper titled “Prescription Drug Abuse and Prescription Addiction in the United States: An Update,” published online Monday by the National Center for Policy Analysis, the scholars argue that the administration’s new proposal to expand access to prescription drugs is a step in the wrong direction.
“This paper argues that the drug-use policy proposals outlined in the Affordable Care Act have not led to an increase in the use of prescription drugs and that the increased use of these drugs is primarily due to prescription drug abuse and addiction,” they write.
They add that the plan is unlikely to have the desired impact on drug use because it does not address the issue of prescription drug use as a health issue, but rather as a financial issue.
For instance, the plan would not address that some drug addicts and their families have financial incentives to use drugs because they can expect a large rebate if they use the drugs.
“This will likely lead to an increased demand for these drugs, increasing the price of the drugs, and creating more money for drug addiction and other costs of the program,” the researchers write.
“In short, it will not lead to a decrease in drug use.”
The authors also point out that the federal government has not taken a position on the issue.
The Office of National Drug Control Policy is a non-partisan federal agency that provides federal government advice to the Department of Health and Human Services.
The proposal would not impact Medicare, Medicaid, the Veterans Administration, or the Veterans Health Administration, but would apply to state and local governments.
“We note that the proposed legislation does not include the prescription drug program, but we note that many states are proposing to do so,” the authors write.
They add that these state proposals have been adopted in recent years.
In an interview with NPR last year, Dr. Jonathan Gruber, the co-director of the Institute of Medicine, said that the president’s plan to reform the nation’s drug system will result in an increase of opioid use.
Gruber said the president should not rush to implement a drug-free society, as he has done in the past.
“The president’s drug plan is the wrong approach,” Gruber told NPR.
“I think it’s just a wrong approach.”