The Opposing Thumb

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Media Roundup

The Iron Chancellor Tries a Little Tenderness


“Call it socialism or whatever you like. It is the same to me.”

Olga Khazan in The Atlantic looks at how Germany has tackled the problem of high cost breakthrough drugs. The solution, the seeds of which were sown by Otto von Bismarck, involves a healthy dose of common sense:

“Almost every German belongs to one of some 160 nonprofit “sickness funds,” or nonprofit insurance collectives. The sickness funds cover both medical visits and prescription drugs. Drug prices there are already lower than in the U.S. because sickness funds negotiate with both physician groups and drug manufacturers to set costs of all treatments across the board. In the U.S., Medicare isn’t even allowed to negotiate lower drug prices.”

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