top of page

Policy Debate Resolution

2023-2024 Fall Term Resolution 

The federal government shall substantially reform, replace, or create current federal policy regulating the manufacture, patent, and/or distribution processes of medically prescribed drugs used by citizens of the United States.


Resolution Notes

This resolution will assume that the term "drug" refers to medically prescribed medicine for persons under the care of United States medical practitioners. Medically prescribed assumes the drug may not be obtained without a prescription from a medically licensed practitioner. Products commonly considered "over the counter" and obtainable without medical prescription will not be addressed by this resolution unless the goal is to change a medical drug's regulation from prescription to over the counter, or from over the counter to prescription only.

Manufacturing shall be deemed any process of creating, producing, compounding, refining, or synthesizing a medical drug. Distribution shall assume all manner of sale, marketing, transport, import, export, or conveyance of a medical drug. Patenting shall assume the legal process of acquiring and maintaining exclusive rights to manufacture, market, and financially benefit from a medical drug.

Topic Background

Government Agencies:

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA)


Patent Trade Office (PTO),


US Government Accountability Office (GAO), official reporter to Congress regarding issues,


Congressional Library, official archive of legislative bills,


Research Aids

Heritage Foundation (conservative think tank and analysis center),


Cato Institute (conservative think thank and analysis center),


Drug Manufacturing and Distribution and Pricing Crisis:


"How the US Generic Drug Supply Chain Works," 60 Minutes, news segment, Bill Whitaker reporter, Youtube video, May 23, 2022.


"Why US Drug Manufacturing is Shutting Down," 60 Minutes, news segment, Bill Whitaker reporter, Youtube video, May 23, 2022.


"How the Prescription Drug Supply Chain is Killing Local Pharmacies," PBS News Hour segment, Fred de Sam Lazaro, special correspondent, Youtube video, July 28, 2023,


"Time to Make Essential Medicines in the United States," Brookings Institute, article, Darrel M. West (Senior Fellow Governance Studies Brookings Institute) June 14, 2021.


"One in Three Hospitals Severely Affected by Drug Shortages, Survey Finds," NBC News Health News article, Berkeley Lovelace Jr. (health and medical reporter for NBC News), August 10, 2023,


"Generic Drug Safety: US Regulators Struggle to Keep Up with a Global Market," Pharmaceutical Technology, article, Darcy Jimenez (healthcare reporter for Pharmaceutical Technology and Pharmaceutical Technology Focus Magazine), October 6, 2021,


"Senators Propose First Steps to Address US Drug Shortages by Examining Supply Chains," ABC News Hour video and online article, July 15, 2023,



Drug Patenting and Pricing Crisis:


"Money Talks: Epi-Pen's Pricing Scandal," Turkish public broadcast service Youtube video, Charlotte Dubenskij (reporter), August 31, 2016,


"Mylan's Epipen Pricing Scandal," Seven Pillars article, by Andreas Kanaris Miyashiro (PhD Researcher at PAIS), September 14, 2017,


"Barely Contained Rage: An Open Letter to Johnson and Johnson," by John Green, video published on Youtube by vlogbrothers, July 11, 2023.


"Why Are Drug Prices So High? Investigating the outdated US patent system," TEDwomen video, Priti Krishtel (health justice advocate and attorney), December 2019,


"Big Pharma's Patent Abuses Are Fueling the Drug Pricing Crisis," article, by Tahir Amin (Co-Founder of Initiatives for Medicines, Access and Knowledge) and David Mitchell (cancer patient and Founder of Patients for Affordable Drugs), February 24, 2023,


"The US Drug Industry Use to Oppose Patents, What Changed?" The Conversation, media journal article, by Joseph M. Gabriel (Associate Professor of History and Social Medicine, Florida State University) June 29, 2021, updated.


"Perverse Results from Pharmaceutical Patents in the United States," National Library of Medicine article, Warren Grimes (Irving D and Florence Rosenberg Professor of Law, Southwestern Law School, Los Angeles, USA) April 28, 2021,


"Reforming the Patent System," Brookings Institute article, Lisa Larrimore Ouellette (Associate Professor of Law and Justin M. Roach, Jr. Faculty Scholar, Stanford University) and Heidi Williams (Charles R. Schwab Professor of Economics, Standford University), June 17, 2020,


"Amid Drug Pricing Debates, Feds Reveal Plan to Crack Down on 'Incremental' Patents," Fierce Pharma website article, by Zoey Becker (staff writer for Fierce Pharma), July 7, 2022,

General Politics and Worldview
"Private Sector vs. Public Sector," Prager University, Dennis Prager, conservative commentator, video, published July 8, 2016.

Left vs. Right: How Do We Make Society Better? Prager University video.

Conservative vs. Liberal Beliefs, The Student Daily News

Are Some Cultures Better Than Others? Prager University video

Socialism vs. Capitalism, Student News Daily

A Short History of Slavery, Prager University video (response to Critical Race Theory)


General Government Lessons
Types of Government Explained, a youtube presentation on the different types of government.

How power is divided in the US, a TedEd video.

Why America is a Republic, not a Democracy (overview of other government types included, by the Indicrat)


Senator Ben Sasse discourse during Kavanaugh which is an estute review on judicial vs. legislative function in the US.

Separation of Powers Check and Balance  (a Crash Course video, some good info, annoying presentation)

the Bicameral Congress (a Crash Course video, some good info, annoying presentation)

Constitutional Principles:Representative Government (the Bill of Rights Institute)

The Electoral College (and why it is important), Prager University video.

Introduction to the Constitution, video lecture series by Hillsdale College  Also check into their other free, online courses such as Constitution 101 and 201 and US History. (These courses are excellent prep for the American Government and US History I CLEP's).


How a Bill Becomes Law
I'm Just a Bill (yes...the old Schoolhouse Rock version)
SNL and Executive Orders
Vox update on How a Bill Really Becomes Law

Flowchart of How a Bill Becomes Law

General Economics Lessons

Why You Love Capitalism, Prager U video

Can the Government Run the Economy? Prager U video

But Who Gets the Profit? Dinesh D'Souza Youtube Video

What Creates Wealth? Prager U video


Why Capitalism Works. Prager U video


Who Is Karl Marx? Prager U video

Lower Taxes, Higher Revenue. Prager U video

A highly revered article on the miracle and power of free market economics
I, Pencil (written form)  (movie form)

Henry Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson


Broken Window Fallacy, Learn Liberty video

Just for fun...

The Economics of Halloween Candy

The Worst Candy: Halloween Economics

The Guide to Trading Halloween Candy (warming some cheesy language)


Keep track of all your research and extra reading. Credit hours can accumulate and Club points will be awarded for those who complete extra reading and research!

EXTRA CREDIT QUESTIONS (Place in notebook. These can help offset a sick day during debate rounds!):

Read and Answer Student News Daily questions from their Media Bias articles base examples of media bias.

5 per article, depending upon depth and number answered (do not choose a question with an answer on key other than "answers vary").


Watch and respond to a video. 5 points. Response should include short summary of what it says, what does it mean, and personal opinion about concept.

Possible video choices:  "I Pencil," "The Broken Window," "Who Is Karl Marx?", "The Electoral College."


bottom of page