The 'me toos' offer real benefits to many
In most other industries, "me-tooism" is called "competition," ordinarily the object of applause rather than condemnation

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  • In most other industries, "me-tooism" is called "competition," ordinarily the object of applause rather than condemnation.

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Henry Miller is too modest in his excellent criticism of those who argue that second and third drugs in a class waste resources and yield little clinical benefit ("Critics of 'Me-Too Drugs' Need to Take a Chill Pill," op-ed, Jan.2).

In most other industries, "me-tooism" is called "competition," ordinarily the object of applause rather than condemnation. More broadly, the me-too argument is statist, based upon an assumption that patients and their physicians are incapable of evaluating the relevant trade-offs, which should be left to bureaucrats, officials and "experts." The blindness of the latter group is illustrated by the development of esomeprazole (Nexium) after use of omeprazole (Prilosec) became widespread. Omeprazole was problematic for patients lacking a key liver enzyme, and the newer drug proved superior for them.

What bureaucracy has incentives to undertake such a pursuit? Sadly, the implicit price controls of the Affordable Care Act will reduce these incentives even for the private sector.

Benjamin Zycher

American Enterprise Institute

Washington

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About the Author

 

Benjamin
Zycher
  • Benjamin Zycher is the John G. Searle Chair and a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he works on energy and environmental policy. He is also a senior fellow at the Pacific Research Institute.

    Before joining AEI, Zycher conducted a broad research program in his public policy research firm, and was an intelligence community associate of the Office of Economic Analysis, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, US Department of State.  He is a former senior economist at the RAND Corporation, a former adjunct professor of economics at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and at the California State University Channel Islands, and is a former senior economist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology.  He served as a senior staff economist for the President's Council of Economic Advisers, with responsibility for energy and environmental policy issues.

    Zycher has a doctorate in economics from UCLA, a Master in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from UCLA.

  • Email: benjamin.zycher@aei.org
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    Name: Regan Kuchan
    Phone: 202.862.5903
    Email: regan.kuchan@aei.org

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