Competition to the Rescue
We often hear about escalating health care costs, and policymakers debate what the state should do about it. Here’s some good news about how the free market is doing its part to address the problem:
Schnucks pharmacies on Monday will be the first in the region to offer a selection of antibiotics for free. Customers can receive up to a 21-day supply of any one of more than 54 generic, oral antibiotics at no charge.
Schnucks will offer the program at all 100 of its pharmacies across seven states.
Why is Schnucks doing this? The article discussed two main reasons. First, the owner cares about helping people get medicines they need. Second, cutting health care costs and filling some prescriptions for free is good business. Free antibiotics will draw new customers to Schnucks and allow it to compete with other stores that offer low-price prescription drugs.
Unfettered competition can help patients by driving costs down to zero. Of course, this won’t fix all health care problems. Antibiotics are so cheap that it’s feasible for a store to offer them for free. Schnucks won’t be giving out free brain surgeries. There’s still a need for good health care policy, but we should take note of what the private sector can contribute.