Despite receiving more than a 23 percent discount as mandated by federal law, the Oregon state Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee is already working to restrict access to Sovaldi, despite growing demand for the cure. Oregon is hoping to restrict treatments until more competition becomes available lowering the costs for the state. While Oregon cannot be faulted for attempting to find a good deal for its citizens, this revelation of health care rationing is troubling to say the least. While a far cry from the supposed “death panels,” this situation once again shows the problem with government run healthcare--bureaucrats rather than patients are ultimately the ones making the choice.
Rather than blaming higher medical costs on makers of breakthrough drugs, which provide a better product in terms of both price and quality, the government should be working to encourage innovation in the medical industry which will ultimately drive down costs. Furthermore, the situation in Oregon shows the inherent flaws of bureaucrats making health care decisions rather than individuals and their doctors. Instead of trying a one size fits all approach, America should work towards health savings accounts in which individuals can choose how best to spend their resources as opposed to waiting until their disease reaches highest levels of seriousness.
Health care decisions should be made by patients and their health care providers, not government bean counters.