Examine a bill that seeks to introduce federal oversight of drug prices set by pharmaceutical companies.
Since 1980, prescription drug prices in the United States have increased by 2000%. One in four Americans currently report that they have difficulty paying for their medications. What steps should Congress take to get these prices under control?
In this lesson students will be introduced to the concepts of intellectual property and patent law, as well as price controls and innovation. Should companies who refuse to lower their prices lose their patents? Should the United States base its drug prices on the practices of other developed countries? Is there a trade-off between affordable medicine and new medical advances? Students will wrestle with these questions as they explore, discuss, and debate the Prescription Drug Price Relief Act.
Use this lesson plan to explore the issue and prepare to conduct a Senate debate on a related bill.