It's a bit of a risk for me to talk about intellectual property issues, as IP is not my strong suit. But, hey, it's just a blog, so here goes nothing.
In an article about John McCain's views on health care policy, the Economist had this to say:
Like his Democratic rivals, Mr McCain supports the import of drugs from Canada, which industry lobbies denounce as a violation of intellectual-property rights. Like them, he wants Medicare, the big government health scheme for the elderly, to negotiate bulk discounts with the industry—something Republicans have strongly opposed in the past.
So, if I understand things correctly, the situation is the following. Through our patent laws, we give pharmaceutical companies 20 year patent monopolies on drugs they develop. Then when these companies charge very high prices, people get upset and the government threatens to take action (such as allowing re-imports or negotiating bulk discounts) to lower the prices.
Here's my problem with this: The reason they are charging the high prices is that the government gave them a monopoly! Thus, the effort to lower drug prices means we're fighting the effects of one government measure (the patent) with another government measure (re-imports or bulk discounts). It seems to me that if we are really concerned about companies charging such high prices, perhaps a better approach would be to change the IP laws in some way.
One counter-argument is that blocking the Canadian imports is the government action, and allowing them is the natural state of things. That's true in a sense, but if the Canadian prices are low due to government action, then we're back to the same problem: High prices due to government-granted monopoly are being counteracted by additional government action.