61. The Ups and Downs of Drug Prices: An Economist’s View

Some drugs cost more than diamonds, though their health benefit seems marginal. Others cost less than a package of M&Ms, though they are demonstrably life-saving. Some drug prices have spiked to three-fold, four-fold, or even ten-fold from what they were just a few years ago. Drug pricing seems to be an irrational and incomprehensible aspect of our economy.

To help us gain clarity on the matter, we have as out guest Amitabh Chandra (twitter), the Malcolm Wiener Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and the Henry and Allison McCance Professor of Business Administration and the Harvard Business School. He is among the best decorated healthcare economists alive, having received the highest awards in the field. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, a member of the Congressional Budget Office panel of health advisors, and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Professor Chandra has published seminal papers in the most highly ranked journals of economics and medicine. His research has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, Newsweek, and on National Public Radio and has testified to the US Senate on matters of healthcare policy.

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