Economic Forces, Health Care, and Pharmaceutical Pricing

Mar 30, 2005


Dr. Russell Roberts
Professor of Economics
George Mason University 

Click Here  to listen to audio archive.

Constituent complaints about the U.S. health care system are common in congressional offices: rapidly increasing costs, inconvenience, restricted choices and options, and millions of uninsured citizens. Indeed, it is widely believed that the American health care system is in crisis. Simultaneously, however, our health care industry continues to produce new treatments and innovations, and our hospitals and medical research centers attract the most skilled physicians from across the world. What do these conflicting images of our health care system mean for policymakers attempting to enhance the system and solve its problems? Can both descriptions be true? How might an economist assess the current and pending conditions of our health care system?

George Mason University economist and Mercatus Center Distinguished Scholar Dr. Russ Roberts will explore the role of economic forces and incentives in creating and correcting the health care crisis. In his lecture, Dr. Roberts will consider many important health care questions, including:

• What can economics teach us about pharmaceutical companies , profit incentives, and outcomes?
• Is the FDA too stringent or too lax in its regulation of new drugs?
• With everyone paying so much for prescription drugs, is drug re-importation a viable option?

So come prepared for an interesting and lively discussion that will provide you with an useful way to think about many health care issues.