As talks continue on what might be salvaged from President Joe Biden’s stalled tax-and-spending plan, one of its smaller pieces is worth singling out — a proposal to cut the prices Americans pay for prescription drugs. As it stands, it’s a good first stab, but Biden should press to go further. Doing so would serve the public and strengthen the president’s popular support.
The existing system must strike any outside observer as absurd. U.S. pharmaceutical companies charge their domestic customers vastly more than they demand of buyers in the rest of the world. And Medicare is expressly barred from doing what foreign equivalents take for granted: using its bargaining power to get better prices.