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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