I cannot help but notice the dichotomy between the tailored, cancer genome-specific biologics (that are increasingly driving growth in pharmaceutical expenditures) and drug shortages/price spikes for some of the most basic, essential medicines like narcan, epinephrine, etc. Drug companies have the right to profit, but do they also have a social responsibility? Or, does that responsibility rest on the government? Previously, profit incentive was enough to ensure adequate supply of generics, but tough competition has led to steady downward price pressure, leading to eventual consolidation in parts of the industry, and now shortages. Generic drugs can only compete on price and are inherently more vulnerable to volatile price changes with the entry of new competitors. This market is difficult to enter, but easy to exit, leaving it vulnerable to shortages. The FDA has allowed temporary international importation of drugs in shortage, but this won't fundamentally fix the generic market. What do you see as the most promising long term strategy to improve the stability of the generic drug market, and does government regulation play a role in it?
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