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Why Milton Friedman Rightly Opposed Drug Re-Importation


October 23, 2019

Is government-facilitated re-importation of prescription medicines from Canada a policy now supported by politicians as diverse as President Donald Trump and Senator Bernard Sanders an issue of free trade, or a backdoor method of imposing price controls? That's the way the question is usually framed in policy debates, but the great Nobel prize-winning economist Milton Friedman took a third view.

"The issue is patents," Friedman explained in a 2004 interview. "The real issue is not really re-importation. The real issue in my opinion is the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA in the United...

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