Firstly, I want to thank everyone for their excellent questions and responses! In our quest to de-mystify drug pricing, a basic observation I've learned is: the generic market is fundamentally different from the brand market- in terms of market forces, product differentiation, the reason for price increases, etc. I have found it most productive to try to look at these two industries as somewhat separate entities. To that point, the skyrocketing price increases in generic drugs (e.g. Daraprim, Epi pens, etc.) often occur in the setting of a consolidated market, where only 1 or a few manufacturers are producing the drug, allowing huge mark-ups. This seems particularly heinous for generics because the price increase clearly does not reflect advances in the drug's efficacy or any other perception of "value." Further, the price is negotiated based on the consumer's willingness to pay, without regard for this "social contract." Because these medications are critical for many Americans (inelastic goods), prices based on "what the market will bear" can be very high before people will stop buying the drug. To our experts-what do you think about market regulation in this setting?
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