In recent years, concerns about prescription drug prices have increased, as have calls for the government to contain prices with aggressive measures.
We understand this populist fury, based on fears that people in need will be excluded from the market for life-saving drugs.
But we have to be careful not to paint the entire industry with such a broad brush, as pharmaceutical companies have saved countless lives thanks to many of the greatest advancements in medicine.
As the pharmaceutical industry rushes to find a COVID-19 vaccine and respond to our national testing shortage, it’s important to remember that price control regulations typically hurt the industry and overlook costs. marketing of drugs.
A recent study from Tufts University found that it takes about 10 years to bring a new drug to market and costs around $ 2.6 billion.
These costs continue to increase with higher failure rates in human tests and higher clinical costs as research becomes more precise.
Certainly, no one is crying over Big Pharma’s difficulties. But like many so-called reforms, price controls would simply cause more problems. Price controls would not be offset by reductions in research and development costs, so drugmakers would be less inclined to take risks if it meant wasting more money, thus stifling innovation.
As the world desperately needs tests and drugs to fight the COVID-19 crisis, we should be looking to empower the private sector to do what it does best. According to the White House Council of Economic Advisers, the United States is responsible for nearly half of the world’s medical research and development.
The private sector has proven time and again that it is able to react quickly in a crisis and will be the best option to develop the tests we need to reopen our economy, to absorb the long process of trial and failure. before finding a vaccine that works and quickly manufacturing and distributing products around the world.
Controlling the costs of pharmaceuticals is an idea being launched on both sides of the political aisle, and we urge lawmakers on both sides to resist this populist urge.