Priceless goods: How should life-saving drugs be priced?

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This article examines the ethical issues raised by the pricing of priceless goods. Priceless goods are defined as ones that are widely held to have some special non-market value that makes them unsuited for buying and selling. One subset of priceless goods is prescription drugs-particularly life-saving and life-enhancing ones. Drug makers are under pressure to price their medicines responsibly, which means to restrain their prices (and profits). However, this article argues that it is precisely because life-saving and life-enhancing medicines are priceless that it is especially urgent to leave companies free to charge market prices for them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)451-480
Number of pages30
JournalBusiness Ethics Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2002
Externally publishedYes


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