Our elected leaders need to lower what patients pay out of pocket for prescription drugs, but there is a right and wrong way to do it. Unfortunately, the Trump administration is pursuing a regulatory scheme that would allow the policies of foreign governments to dictate the standard of care for American patients. The president’s plan is similar to an approach taken by Speaker Pelosi in her extreme, partisan drug pricing bill. Importing foreign policies – under an International Pricing Index – would lead to rationed care and restricted access to prescription medicines that will devastate patients and the development of life-saving treatments. Importing foreign price controls will ultimately:
Restrict access to new medicines for patients in need.
- Nearly 90% of new medicines launched since 2011 are available in the U.S., compared to just 50% in France, 48% in Switzerland, and 46% in Canada. (source)
- Of the 74 cancer drugs launched between 2011 and 2018, 95% are available in the United States, compared with 74% in the United Kingdom, 49% in Japan, and 8% in Greece. (source)
- In addition to fewer choices, patients in these countries must often wait years longer for new medications than patients in the U.S., and the decisions regarding who gets the therapies are made by the governments – not patients and their doctors. (source)
Delay or deny the development of new cures and treatments.
- An analysis released in 2019 revealed that the Trump administration’s IPI proposal would “penalize innovation” and “targets companies with the most advanced, newest products in the market for what are often the most challenging diseases.” (source)
- The 2019 analysis also found that the administration’s regulatory proposal would “skew R&D away” from new treatments that are intended to help some of the most vulnerable seniors. (source)
- In December 2019, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3, a bill that would also impose foreign price controls on medicines prescribed in the U.S. Multiple reports—including reports by the Congressional Budget Office and the White House Council of Economic Advisers—found adopting foreign price controls would delay or deny the development of new treatments. (sources here, here, here and here).
Jeopardize America’s global leadership in biomedical innovation.
- A study published by Pharmacoeconomics found that the adoption of price controls in Europe led to fewer new medicines developed by European companies and the loss of research jobs for European workers. (source)
- Wayne Winegarden, a policy expert at the Pacific Research Institute, has written how the “decline in innovation across Europe coincided with the imposition of price controls in these countries. As a result of these regulations, Europe has watched as the well-paying innovative pharmaceutical industry migrated across the Atlantic.” (source)
- Government price setting threatens the biotech industry’s 1.74 million employees and 8 million jobs that support the industry throughout the entire U.S. (source)
- Less than 10% of all public U.S. biopharmaceutical companies earn a profit. In other words, more than 90 percent of these companies are unprofitable. The biopharmaceutical industry ranks 36th among all U.S. industries in profitability. (source)
But isn’t foreign free-riding a problem?
Yes, and in fact, virtually every part of our health care system is more expensive than in Europe. Instead of importing the problem, the U.S. should export the solution. Our country creates more new medicines than the rest of the world combined because we reject government price-setting for medicines.
- Policymakers should work to promote fair trade agreements that force foreign countries to respect American intellectual property and fairly value American innovation.
- Voters agree that it’s important for the U.S. to seek stronger intellectual property protections in trade deals with other countries, which is on par with other U.S. trade priorities. (source)
Patients need real solutions for lowering drug costs, not political bills that jeopardize patient access to life-saving medicines.
- According to a poll by Kaiser Family Foundation, 62% of people would oppose government negotiations with drugmakers if it could lead to less R&D for new drugs and 65% would be opposed if it could limit access to new medicines. (source)
Contact your elected representatives today. Tell them to oppose a plan that will allow bureaucrats to come between patients and their doctors.
Act now! Urge your representative to oppose H.R. 3 and support solutions that lower what people pay for life-saving medicines and ensure all patients can get the cures and treatments they need.