August 31, 2023

ICYMI: Drug Price Controls Mean Slower Cures

This week, the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board issued a new piece highlighting the consequences of Democrats’ government price controls that threaten the development of new medicines for patients and higher prices for new drugs.

This follows President Biden’s announcement of the first 10 drugs subject to government price controls under the Democrats’ so-called “Inflation Reduction Act.” More accurately named the “Innovation Reduction Act,” this law imposes sweeping new Washington price controls that will lead to higher prices for new drugs coming to market and result in fewer cures reaching hopeful patients.

House Budget Committee Health Care Task Force Chair Michael Burgess M.D. (R-TX) released the following statement after the Biden Administration released the list of drugs subject to price controls:

“The Biden Administration's price controls dictated by Washington bureaucrats is a concerning move that will undeniably result in higher prices for new drugs, stifling the development of potential cures, slashing American jobs, and mandating the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to 'negotiate' drug prices when they're simply holding pharmaceutical companies hostage,” said Burgess. “This approach threatens access to care and burdens American seniors with rising costs. Not only endangering access to medicines for American seniors but also introduces unnecessary barriers to their healthcare choices, including severe restrictions and potential discontinuation of vital medications under Medicare Part D. The looming threat of government-imposed price controls raises legitimate concerns about worsening drug shortages, especially within the generic market. All of this undermines America's global leadership in biopharmaceutical innovation. I'm ready to hit the ground running and address this issue in my new capacity as Chair of the Budget Committee Health Task Force.”

Key Facts From the Piece:

Biden’s Price Controls Will Raise the Price of New Medications
“The law will [give] companies the incentives to launch drugs at higher prices and raise prices for privately insured patients to compensate for the Medicare cuts. That means the 218 million Americans with private insurance will pay more for drugs. Call it the Private Insurance Inflation Act.”

Biden’s Policies Reduce Investment in Generic Drugs, Raising Prices on Patients
“Competition from generics has held down drug prices. Yet the IRA will discourage investment in new generics and biosimilars because their manufacturers could later be undercut by government price controls on brand drugs. That means Americans may end up paying more for prescription drugs thanks to the IRA.”

Price Controls Will Reduce Investment in Research and Development
"A University of Chicago study estimated that the drug price controls would reduce research and development by $663 billion through 2039 and result in 135 fewer new drugs being approved.”

Price Controls Specifically Threaten Rare Disease Patients
“The IRA encourages drug makers to slow-walk development of treatments for smaller populations since Food and Drug Administration approval would start the clock on eligibility for price controls.”

The Bottom Line: The Biden Administration and Democrats government price controls will kill patients’ hope for new cures and raise prices of new medications, while also discouraging the development of new cost-saving generics and biosimilars.

House Budget Committee Republicans are fighting back against Biden’s price controls that are threatening patients’ hope for new cures and harming efforts to reduce health care costs.

The House Budget Committee recently established the Health Care Task Force, led by Rep. Burgess, and will focus on solutions to improve patient outcomes and reduce spending, including the impact of Biden’s drug price controls on patient’s and health care spending.

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