Would reimportation really kill innovation?

Big Pharma doesn't have to articulate its case against reimportation. Motley Fool has done it already. The investor website attacked the idea, calling a new bipartisan bill the "Death of the Pharmaceutical Industry Act."

The bill, introduced by Senators Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan) has additional support from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. It aims to lower drug prices by allowing pharmacists and wholesalers to bring prescription meds in from other countries with strong safety controls.

As Motley Fool points out, Americans do pay more for drugs, and that's unfair. The U.S. foots the bill for a bigger share of the R&D required to get those meds onto the market. But if the U.S. suddenly stopped paying extra, we would say goodbye to innovation. "R&D would shut down, and we'd eventually end up with generic drugmakers like Teva Pharmaceuticals and Mylan as the only drugmakers standing," the Fool says.

That's a familiar argument. Whenever prices get cut, drugmakers loudly warn that innovation will dry up. The Fool figures Congress is familiar with the pharma case, too. "[T]his is all showboating so that members of Congress can look like they're doing something to bring down drug prices."

- see Motley Fool's take