Drug shortages in the United States are at a record high. At least 14 essential generic cancer drugs are currently in shortage, forcing patients and doctors to make difficult decisions to delay or ration first-line treatments, or accept second-best treatments. ADHD treatments, antibiotics, children’s acetaminophen, and many other critical medicines are also in short supply. But most of the solutions being discussed are just Band-Aids on a broken system. They would do nothing to transform the incentives that routinely produce shortages and other market failures. What we really need — for the health of our economy and society — is a robust public option in pharmaceuticals that produces and distributes essential medicines, such as cancer treatments.