Although the US House, but not the Senate, passed a drug price control bill in a previous Congress, a revised bill has been “marked” in House committees. yesterday. The bill, HR.3, was rejected by the Ways and Means Committee, but was rejected by all Republicans and three “moderate” Democrats on the Energy and Trade Committee. (here)
This revised bill is extremely important to Liberal Democrats in Congress. It is estimated that the planned federal savings will provide $ 500 billion to $ 700 billion in funding over ten years for their $ 3.5 trillion welfare plan.
But what does controlling drug prices mean for Americans’ health? Researchers at the University of Chicago recently published data on the impact of price controls on drug research and development and drug availability for patients in the United States (here). translates into 167 to 342 fewer new drugs purchased on the market.
It is well known that Americans pay higher prices for drugs than other “favored” nations. Patients from other countries are in effect getting a free ride on the backs of American patients, who provide the bulk of the money for research and development of new drugs. American pharmaceutical companies develop two-thirds of all new drugs offered in the world.
Government officials in other industrialized countries negotiate prices with drug manufacturers, which is the goal of HR.3. Yet the availability of new drugs is much worse in these other countries. Of 270 new pharmaceuticals available in the United States since 2011, only 67% were available in Germany, 64% in the United Kingdom, 53% in France, 52% in Canada, 48% in Japan and 41% in Australia. Clearly, controlling drug prices is not in the best interests of the health of American patients. (here)
Across our economy, a vibrant and creative free market, free from third-party interference, translates into better products at cheaper prices every day with constant improvement. Enabling patients, in consultation with their providers, to decide which drugs are best for them clinically and financially should be the goal of health care reform, not undermine price controls.
The Democratic $ 3.5 trillion welfare bill faces a number of hurdles in Congress in the coming weeks. Funding massive cradle-to-grave legislation through drug price controls should be a failure for Republicans and Democrats.