The Right Way to Address Prescription Drug Costs

The Right Way to Address Prescription Drug Costs

Writing for STAT News, BIO’s President and CEO Jim Greenwood teamed up with Bay City Capital’s David Beier to outline for policymakers the best approach for tackling the affordability of prescription drugs.

“As policy professionals from different sides of the aisle, we believe there is a right way to address these issues and a wrong way. The right way will reduce out-of-pocket costs for patients, improve access to new medicines, and allow the United States to remain the global leader in medical innovation,” Greenwood and Beier write. “The wrong way leads to price controls, weakened intellectual property protections, and restricted access to medicines. The wrong way will also stifle innovation and do little to make drugs more affordable.”

The authors note that two proposals being discussed on Capitol Hill would do far more harm than good.

“These ideas, known as compulsory licensing and international reference pricing, are counter-productive and antithetical to the best interests of patients. They fail the key test that any drug pricing proposal should have to pass, namely, whether patients who suffer from disease will be better off. The United States develops more new medicines than the rest of the world combined precisely because we reject government price controls and assaults on intellectual property.”

Greenwood and Bier urge policymakers to adopt a better approach.

“Rather than pursuing policies that will destroy innovation and harm patients, let’s adopt responsible reforms that make a meaningful difference in the lives of all patients by reducing their out-of-pocket expenses for prescription drugs and improving access to innovative medicines,” Greenwood and Beier conclude. “There are numerous ideas available to help do just that, such as removing regulatory barriers to value-based pricing and capping what seniors must pay for medicines in Medicare.  We know what the right approach is for lowering prescription drug costs. All we need is for our elected policymakers to take it.”

Read the full piece in STAT News here.

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