Editor's Corner

It's no surprise that two of today's top stories center on criticism regarding high drug prices. In California, the pharma industry is pooling its resources to kill a proposal that would force drug companies to offer discounts to the poor or face exclusion from the state Medicaid formulary. And NitroMed has priced BiDil -- a drug that will be marketed to blacks -- at a significantly higher price than most in that category. In each case, the companies have their own counterproposals. But it's hard to imagine that the voluntary discounts they're discussing will become generally available to the people who need it most. This country needs a sensible approach to managing drug costs, not more empty promises tied to ever-higher bills. The drug industry might want to consider signing on to mandatory price cuts that are independently monitored -- or one day the issue will be decided for them.- John Carroll

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