We are entering one of the most exciting times of biomedical innovation and progress in American history. Our growing understanding of human genetics and the promise of personalized medicine will advance the race to cure cancer and treat or prevent Alzheimer’s disease. However, if Congress passes government drug price controls, this progress could be erased, ending the promise of innovation and preventing patients from seeing the benefits of next-generation cures.
Americans will have unprecedented access to new, novel treatments. Of the 460 new drugs approved worldwide since 2012, 85% were available to Americans, compared to only 59% in the UK and 44% in Canada. Of the 123 new life-saving cancer drugs, 93% are available in the US, just 69% in the UK and 59% in Canada. For government price controls to work, these countries must Denies and ration care to their citizens.
Our system evolves with access and innovation. Government authorities cannot decide whether we have access to medicine or not. The market provides the solutions, and Americans use them freely.
Of course, no system is perfect. Our health system needs real reforms, not feel-good gestures that create more long-term problems and real savings on drug prices.
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Democrat proposals typically change spending so they can mask what they’re paying for. For example, the Affordable Care Act did not reduce health spending, it shifted health care costs to taxpayers and increased the cost of insurance for people insured by their employer. Moreover, the latest reconciliation bill Attacks Medicare “saves” from the price control provision to pay for ACA subsidies for wealthy people.
Would you agree to delay a cure for Alzheimer’s disease by a decade or more? In a few days, Democrats are going to force us to accept that we’ll have to settle for end-of-life care instead.
Under this same proposal, we would see at least 15% fewer drugs developed and brought to market over the next 17 years. Would you agree to delay a cure for Alzheimer’s disease by a decade or more? In a few days, Democrats are going to force us to accept that we’ll have to settle for end-of-life care instead.
More than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. We all know and love someone affected by this relentless disease. This year it is estimated to cost our health system $321 billion and by 2050 it will exceed $1 trillion. Of the total costs spent on elderly people with Alzheimer’s, only 10% is spent on prescription drugs. All others are hospital and long-term care. Without many of these drugs, we spend far more on hospitalizations and live shorter, worse quality lives. So what is the human value, let alone the monetary value, of such a cure?
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While it’s politically easy to demonize pharmaceutical companies, Democrats need to remember that the industry survived the pandemic, developed miracle gene therapies that completely cured terminal cancers, and cured hepatitis C. This industry has done all this and more because we fail and try again. None of the above happened overnight. It has been decades in the making.
There are fundamental economics behind why we are first and best in this industry. First, the industry spends a lot on R&D — $120 billion last year. But it’s a long game, often taking 15 years to invest in an over the counter pharmacy. But 90% will eventually fail.
Democrats should remember that this industry got us out of pandemics, developed miracle gene therapies that cured terminal cancers, and cured hepatitis C.
All that money is spent with a lot of risk – investors don’t know what will work and what won’t. If the federal government removes incentives to make risky investments, R&D spending will decrease.
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Look at the EU: once that governing body took control of the pharmaceutical industry, venture capital, patent registrations, and other key factors that demonstrate a strong industry declined significantly. Meanwhile, the US continues to grow based on the numbers and with proof in our local pharmacy.
We at the pharmacy suffer as out-of-pocket costs rise. Unlike other healthcare categories, retail Prescription drugs account for only 8 percent of our nation’s health care spending. Although list prices have risen less than inflation, drug price negotiators have pocketed more discounts while forcing patients to pay more out of pocket.. In fact, these kickbacks for middlemen exceed 50% of the list price of many prescription drugs. Those kickbacks must go to patients and we need a solution to this flaw in our system.
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Republicans have solutions. I join Senator Michael Crapo, R-Idaho, and my colleagues in introducing Act of Less Costs, More Cures, which includes more than 20 procedures to address errors in drug pricing. Like new laws like the Innovation Act and ACT for ALS, which we authored and supported, have helped lower drug prices, this law promotes competition, innovation, and safer, more efficient ways to get approval for novel treatments.
There is common ground on the President’s goal of making drugs more affordable for Americans, preserving our R&D pipeline for future cures, and curing cancer. However, progress will never happen if the will and incentive to innovate is depleted.
Click here to read more from Sen. Roger Marshall, MD