Now that a pair of EpiPens cost roughly as much as a pair of PlayStation 4s, Americans are remembering that they don’t really believe in free-market capitalism. On Friday, Hillary Clinton capitalized on this fact, by unveiling a new plan for the government to punish pharmaceutical companies that put “excessive” prices on their wares.
Specifically, the plan would create a federal consumer oversight group tasked with monitoring the prices of drugs, especially older ones with limited competition. Should the group find that companies have jacked up prices to take advantage of their monopoly power — rather than to compensate for increased costs in production — the government would fine those firms and then use that money to fund low-cost alternatives.
In a statement, the campaign noted that between 2008 and 2015 the price of nearly 400 different generic drugs increased by more than 1,000 percent.
Clinton had previously released a plan for combating the price of patented drugs, by allowing Medicare to negotiate with drug companies. Donald Trump voiced his support for that idea during the primary campaign. But since securing the GOP nomination, the mogul has focused his attention on more pressing and popular policy initiatives, like repealing the tax on his children’s inheritance.