Analysis on presidential power to reduce drug pricing
by jerry on January 31, 2020
Kaiser Health News published a piece investigating whether a president can meaningfully reduce drug prices without legislative action (as proposed by Senator Warren). Surprisingly (to me at least), the analysis is in the affirmative. The piece talked about the powers of Section 1498, which apparently allows the government to "take over patents" if the price is deemed too high. This law has been used before, and has also been used by the Department Of Defense for non-medicinal purposes. While this law is not meant to be applied broadly, it could address the cost of some popular drugs.
Clearly, use of this law would be controversial and would draw sharp criticism from the pharmaceutical industry. However, as Americans' frustration with rising healthcare costs continues to mount, politicians will be looking at more alternatives.