We at CFIF often highlight the clear and present danger that drug price control schemes pose to American…
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New Lung Cancer Breakthrough Illustrates the Potential Peril of Drug Price Controls

We at CFIF often highlight the clear and present danger that drug price control schemes pose to American consumers, who benefit from our private pharmaceutical sector that leads the world - by far - in innovation.  A new lung cancer treatment breakthrough in the form of Amgen's Lumakras illustrates that interrelationship.

Simply put, Lumakras reduced the risk of progression by 34% compared to chemotherapy in patents with advanced lung cancer, which is particularly welcome considering lung cancer's especially low survival rate (18.6% over five years, and just 5% for advanced forms).  The breakthrough required years of research and enormous amounts of investment, however, which The Wall Street Journal notes makes Lumakras the type of innovation put at risk by new drug price controls…[more]

September 22, 2022 • 05:06 PM

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Home Press Room CFIF Opposes Drug Price Control Proposals in Senate Reconciliation
CFIF Opposes Drug Price Control Proposals in Senate Reconciliation Print
Wednesday, July 06 2022

FAIRFAX, VA – According to reports, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D – New York) plans to introduce legislative language reflecting a dangerous new pact among Democrats – including Senator Joe Manchin (D – West Virginia) – to impose socialized medicine via drug price controls.  In response, Center for Individual Freedom (CFIF) Senior Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs Timothy Lee issued the following statement unequivocally opposing the proposed legislation and encouraging immediate reconsideration by Senator Manchin and others inclined to endorse this dangerous proposal:  

"As the Biden Administration attempts to revive its disastrous ‘Build Back Better’ Act, this drug price control proposal constitutes perhaps its most dangerous element of all.  

"Rather than acknowledge the disastrous results of their hyper-left agenda and correcting course in a more reasonable manner as Biden solemnly promised during the 2020 campaign, the Administration and the Schumer-Pelosi Congress rationalize that everything will be fine if they simply reintroduce the individual components of ‘Build Back Better’ in piecemeal fashion.  That’s not what Americans want.  

“Drug price control proposals would gradually kill pharmaceutical investment and innovation in the United States.  Price controls don’t work, they’ve never worked and they never will work, regardless of the product in question.  With specific regard to drug price controls, even left-leaning voices acknowledge their failure and admonish against them.  For example, when asked to opine on price control proposals in today’s environment of rising inflation, former Obama Administration economic guru and University of Chicago economics professor Austan Goolsbee bluntly replied, ‘Just Stop.  Seriously.’  

"Similarly, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) warns explicitly about the negative effects that price controls inflict:  

[P]rice controls, combined with the threat of market lockout or intellectual property infringement, prevent drug companies from charging market rates for their products, while delaying the availability of new cures to patients living in countries implementing those policies.  

"Professor Goolsbee’s University of Chicago offered even greater specificity on drug price control proposals, quantifying their destructive effect on future lifesaving innovations:  

The United States has fewer restrictions on price than other countries, but the Biden Administration has announced their goal to lower drug prices through greater price regulation…  [N]ew drug approvals will fall by 32 to 65 approvals from 2021 to 2029 and 135 to 277 approvals from 2030 to 2039.  These significant drops in new drug approvals will lead to delays in needed drug therapies, resulting in worse health outcomes for patients.  

"As that study emphasizes, the U.S. maintains a more market-oriented approach to pharmaceutical innovation than our counterparts, and we benefit from that disparity.  Of 270 new medicines introduced here in the U.S. since 2011, for instance, Canadians could only access 52% of them, the Germans 67%, the British 64%, the French 53%, the Japanese 48% and the Australians just 41%.  Additionally, the U.S. accounts for two-thirds of all new drugs introduced to the world.  

"Drug price control proposals would jeopardize that leadership.  Moreover, as Senator Mike Crapo (R – Idaho) and his Republican colleagues on the Senate Finance Committee highlight, the Chinese would benefit while Americans and the rest of the world would suffer:  

Imagine the world today without COVID vaccines or treatments, and imagine a world with a weak or nonexistent pipeline for combating conditions like Alzheimer’s, sickle cell disease, or cancer.  These policy proposals imperil our hopes for the lifesaving cures and life-enhancing therapies of tomorrow…  As the Chinese Communist Party and other rivals abroad look to leverage life sciences innovation to seize market dominance and strengthen their defense capabilities, our national security and international leadership demand a more responsible path forward.  

"Others in Congress must heed their warning and resist any temptation to entertain 'compromise' legislation introducing drug price controls.  As U.S. pharmaceutical innovation becomes progressively more critical, we can’t allow the zombie-like 'Build Back Better' Act’s provisions to undermine it, and CFIF urges all Senators to reconsider this potentially catastrophic proposal in the strongest possible terms.”  

CFIF is a constitutional and free-market advocacy organization with over 300,000 supporters and activists nationwide.  

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