Democrats Portray Themselves As Party Of Science, But Their Drug Price Plans Tell A Different Story

The Democrats prefer to portray themselves as the party of science. Still, two recent pronouncements demonstrate that they have little understanding of how research gets from the lab to our medical cabinets. Compared to those who received a placebo, Pfizer’s novel anti-viral medication reduced hospital admissions in high-risk patients by 90%, and no one who received the treatment died. The Democrats have struck an agreement on a bill that will disrupt and, in the end, impair the life sciences financing structure that allows for achievements like these.

According to the reports, the Democrats’ plan would empower Medicare to set the price for specific kinds of pharmaceuticals. The nature of the agreement provides the government complete control, including a 95 percent penalty tax on total medication sales if the company refuses. Who would be willing to invest $2 billion or more in bringing a novel medication to market if the government sets an arbitrary price?

He claims they already have a highly effective mechanism for cutting medicine costs when their exclusivity term has expired, thanks to generics and biosimilars. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, when the first generic version of a medicine hits the market, the price drops by approximately 40%.

Drug prices being dictated beyond their exclusivity window would jeopardize generic and biosimilar development. Manufacturers of generic drugs won’t predict the price of the medicine they’ll be competing against. As a result, there will likely be less competition, leading to higher costs in the long run. Like the original HR3 drug negotiating proposal and many Big Government Socialist programs, this idea has the same fundamental issue.
Moreover, small biotech startups backed by life science investors have brought around half of all novel therapies to market. It is frequently sponsored using public funds, although it can also be a byproduct of private-sector research in other fields. Even at this level, the likelihood of success is slim. Many promising medications and the money invested in them never make it through the third round of testing.

HR3, the Democrats’ first version of their price dictation plan, was expected by the Congressional Budget Office would result in 30 fewer new medications being released over the following decade (a 10 percent reduction). In the 1980s and 1990s, European countries faced a similar fate as most of their money and R&D base relocated to the United States. Price controls, such as those being debated in Congress, may result in a similar flight trend to China and India.

As investment resources migrate away from life sciences and into other sectors, the number of new pharmaceuticals under development will decline. The idea will hurt patients by depriving the medication research and development process of the funds it needs to innovate. Every Democrat who cares about patients should vote no on this bill.