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Preferred Drug Lists Versus Free Trade Agreements and Bilateral Trade Pressures

US state governments find themselves faced with rising pharmaceutical costs and responsibility for drug procurement through programs such as Medicaid, so they have adopted ways of negotiating drug prices.  Preferred Drug Lists (PDLs), first used by California in the 1990s, but now used by over 40 states, allow states to fund purchases necessary for the provision of quality care to their citizens.   Federal trade officials, however, have recently sought to make drug price negotiations in other countries more favorable to brand name pharmaceutical firms. Through provisions in free trade agreements and through less well-publicized bilateral pressures, the federal governments actions may put state PDLs at risk.

Forum Documents on Preferred Drug Lists and Trade:

State Government Actions on PDLs and Trade:

  • AZ State Senator Meghan Cahill and CT State Representative Kevin Ryan.Letter to Trade Subcommittee of House Ways & Means Committee. March 2007.
  • National Legislative Association on Prescription Drugs. Letter to the US Trade Representative. November 2005. 

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