AMAC In The Media / Opinion / Politics / Press Releases

Nancy Pelosi’s Plan to Lower Drug Costs is a Return to Failed Policies

Nancy Pelosi Drug costsWhen one considers Nancy Pelosi’s H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, one can see the driving force behind the legislation and that is to either (a) introduce this initiative as a ramp to the “Medicare for All” socialism strategy, (b) give the slate of Democratic presidential hopefuls an answer to the “what are you going to do to lower drug prices” question, or (c) both. Unfortunately, many of us aren’t going to like the outcome or their answers.

H.R. 3 targets private sector health care in an astonishing government control power play. The bill demands that pharmaceutical companies negotiate drug prices with the government. However, people who dwell in realty know that the government simply does not “negotiate”, it mandates. If a pharmaceutical company does not comply with the prices set by the federal government on medications where there is no generic or biosimilar equivalent, it could face a massive 95% penalty (tax) on each drug. According to Galen Institute Senior Fellow Doug Badger, “this new tax would flow to federal coffers and not to reducing drug prices for seniors”.

Pelosi’s plan would not limit these “negotiated” prices to just federally funded health care plans like Medicare. Drug companies would be forced to offer these prices to private plans as well. Badger continues, “It’s one thing for the government to dictate the prices it pays in programs it finances. It is quite another for the government to impose a price for a product’s private sales”.

Pelosi’s price fixing would severely damage private sector research and development of new potentially lifesaving medications. It would also limit the availability of existing medications. Americans are currently experiencing artificial drug shortages due in part to the business practices in the hospital and outpatient prescription drug supply chains and this bill, while doing nothing substantive to address these practices, would exacerbate an already serious situation.

Pelosi’s price controls would destroy any incentive for private sector drug manufacturers to invest in innovative therapies. The United States currently leads the world in drug research, but it wasn’t always that way. Badger notes, ““In 1986, European firms led the U.S. in spending on pharmaceutical research and development by 24%. After the imposition of price control regimes, they fell behind. By 2015, they lagged the U.S. by 40%….if the U.S. emulates the European price-setting example, innovation almost certainly will suffer.”

H.R. 3 resurrects policies that have failed in the past, limits therapeutic options for patients and virtually guarantees the destruction of private drug therapy research and development.  It should be outright rejected while lawmakers focus on solutions that promote American led life-saving innovations that can be shared worldwide.

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TJR
3 years ago

I disagree with her 100%. She is almost insane and should have retired years ago!

Mary Johnson
3 years ago

They want control over private business and patients, then prices always go up and into dems pockets. First they break things, then they go on year after year always promising they will fix whatever they broke. They never fix things because they don’t want to. They want us to serve them, and continue to ask for our vote, while they insult us, the people. When will we ever learn?

g schalk
3 years ago
Reply to  Mary Johnson

Just like they are trying to break Earth’s natural (and beautiful) climate change cycles with carbon foot-print policies. They think they can perform ‘acts-of-God’, but their puppet strings lead back to the devil.

Greg
3 years ago
Reply to  g schalk

The communists are good at making problems where there are none.

Iris
3 years ago

The democrats haven’t done anything for the American people they are to concerned about getting rid of the President. I would suggest they talk to the people they represent instead of each other cause right now I would like to see all of them replaced.

par
3 years ago

Nothing more than a burned out bullying politician.

Norma
3 years ago

She says her plan is good but the President has already been talking to drug companies. But status quo she won’t even look at his plan. Only her plan is good. I am truly sick of these DEMS in Congress they do nothing but go after President Trump.

Joseph Kiesznopski
3 years ago

the democrats have no Ideal what right or Wrong, the haveBecomeCluster FDucks.

Dr. Anthony
3 years ago

Perhaps Nancy can give us a list of the prescription drugs she uses that makes her so brilliant and cleaver!

Tom
3 years ago

Bull picky. Just another lie from the Dems Social Club

Barb304
3 years ago

As far as I’m concerned everything Pelosi does is a fail. TRUMP 2020 Keep America Great

Deloris Carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Barb304

PRESIDENT TRUMP IS GREAT JUST LEAVE HIM ALONE AND STILL MAKE AMERICA GREAT.

Franknca
3 years ago

Why don’t they just do a favored nations law where no drug can be sold in the US for any more than it is sold anywhere else in the world. That is a simple solution that doesn’t require a thousand page document of bureaucracy.

Leo Pontaerli
3 years ago
Reply to  Franknca

The problem is that some countries have no patent laws and duplicate our drugs without the one billiondollar cost of FDA approval. Also, many drugs outside of the US are government subsidized.

Stacey
3 years ago

Nancy Pelosi had the sense of a plant. Period

Gloria P. Sterling
3 years ago
Reply to  Stacey

Actually, a plant has the sense to know which way to face to grow. I don’t see that in her.

Rik
3 years ago

When I had kidney stones over 20 years ago 2 years in a row, the doctor told me it was because I had high uric acid and that if I didn’t get it under control that I would continue to get kidney stones but that I would also get gout. He then said I would have to change my diet and gave me a prescription. When I asked “how long would I have to take this prescription?” He replied, “probably the rest of my life!”. When I heard that I said to myself “then you’re not healing me, just regulating my uric acid!” I never filled his prescription, never changed my diet and have never gotten gout! Why? … Because I take a natural tart cherry supplement that has 1,0000 mg in each capsule which also gave me a side benefit of also getting rid of the arthritic pain I was developing in my fingers and knees. So, I have never trusted doctors again who I think are too quick to dispense drugs which when viewing drug ads on TV the side effects sound scarier than what they’re treating you for. And now that I have discovered PEMF therapy I feel fabulous and at 72 have no clogged arteries or pain. Everyone, please Google Dr.Ox PEMF Therapy and watch his video and get educated. He states: “A Revolutionary Cure for Pain that is Going to Change the Practice of Medicine!”. You’ll be glad you did!

CHERYL FITZGERALD
3 years ago
Reply to  Rik

This has nothing to do with the article.

Rik
3 years ago

Cheryl, it just points out that there is an alternative to chemical drugs and their reactions that I want people to know about.

Dr. Anthony
3 years ago
Reply to  Rik

Prescription drugs are nothing but toxic waste that produces side effects that create additional health dangers. Using holistic methods as you did is the answer.

Elena Tellez
3 years ago

As a retired pharma industry corporate executive, I’ve been privy to decades of price gouging and data manipulation by many (but
not all) drug manufacturers, who care nothing about raising prices as high and as often as they can get away with; and who care nothing about keeping drugs they have found harmful or lethal on the market until the FDA has forced them to withdraw them. Why should America have to largely fund drug innovation for greedy (often foreign-based) companies to reap profits? Why should America have to fund drug research for the world to benefit from? Just as with our trade deals — it’s time we stop supporting the world and let everyone pay their fair share. If a company wishes to innovate, it will find other sources of funding.
Re innovation, a large number of ‘new Rx products’ are just ‘me-toos.’ Their molecules might be slightly different from older, ‘tried and true drugs,’ but deliver little or no additional benefit at a much higher price…and by making small changes, drug combinations and long-acting delivery systems, the companies again price gouge under new long-term patent protection.
I respect this author’s opinion — but disagree with his premise that we should only negotiate drug prices for Medicare. Free market forces are fine for fungible and discretionary products, like cars, toothpaste and fashion accessories. But Rx drugs are prescribed for human health and are often life-saving — they are not optional like lattes or candy — so the prices must be either controlled or regulated.

Robert California
3 years ago
Reply to  Elena Tellez

Why would the FDA approve these numerous “me-too” products? Why would payers (insurance companies) pay for “me-too” products? How can you mention that the bulk of “new Rx products” are “me-too”, yet acknowledge that “Rx drugs are often life saving” in the same comment? What about the advances in drug therapy for specific cancers? Why ignore the data that mentioned the drug shortages that have occurred in countries with price controls in place for pharmaceuticals? Why not free market forces for pharmaceuticals? Are you not familiar with the direct primary care model where physicians dispense medications from their offices at significantly lower prices for their member patients?

Bev in TX
3 years ago

Insurance companies, including Medicare, do pay for “me-too” prescriptions all of the time, simply because the original product is no longer available. A prime example of a life saving “me-too” drug, is Insulin. They changed the Insulin formulation, now call it a “new” drug, and therefore can charge more to recoup their so called large development investment. Now all diabetics are paying through their teeth for what used to be an inexpensive drug for unnecessary changes.

I’m not for government price controls. OTOH, the government is currently allowing Rx price fixing through this loophole.

Chris
3 years ago

Unfortunately the ACA (Obamacare) made insurance companies not just willing to pay high prices but *wanting* to do so. Why? Because of the idiotic 80/20 rule where they have to pay out 80% of premiums as claims. The executives of a health insurance company know that if they want a pay raise each year they *have* to pay out more in claims each year so they can charge more in premiums each year — its the only way to increase salaries which can only be paid out of that 20% part. But with customers shifting to high deductible plans, that’s actually harder to do. So, for those relatively few customers who meet their deductible the companies are willing to go overboard paying for high priced items for them. I know it sounds stupid but that’s what you get when you enact a stupid law with perverse incentives in it. Remember the law also killed the profit incentive, if your health insurance company makes a profit, the gov’t takes (taxes) the profit away to give the money to that company’s competitors who lost money. If I were an executive at such a company I’d prefer my competitors help pay my salary rather than the other way around, i.e. they have an incentive to lose money instead of make a profit — again by paying out more in claims. The “Affordable” Care Act is quite the opposite because of the idiocy of those who wrote it.

The FDA has no role in deciding whether the market needs a drug, just whether it is “safe and effective.” It also can’t force a company to keep producing the old version of the drug. The real question is why don’t other companies pick up the old drug? Likely in part to the FDA! They’ve made it so expensive to set up to produce a drug that company has never made before that it takes them a long time to recover that cost and its just not worth it for a drug you expect to sell on the cheap. Likely there’s some quid pro quo going on as well, i.e. “hey if you don’t make the old version of our drug we won’t make the old version of your drug and we both get to charge high prices for our drugs.”

That said I don’t think the gov’t needs to be in the business of setting drug prices. What they need to do is fix the drug market so it works better. Unfortunately, as it was the gov’t who broke the drug market, only they can fix it. Likely that’ll require a change to patent law, certainly changes to FDA regulations and the ACA. One thing they could do is require that for drug patents that the owning company auction off the right to also make the drug to one other pharmaceutical company after a year or two. They’ll all bid high to get a piece of the action so it won’t necessary drive down the price of new drugs but, that one other company now is certified to produce the drug and will want market share to cover the price they paid for the right. It becomes a lot harder to swap to a “me too” drug later if someone else is already producing and selling the old drug. Of course they could just change patent law to require the Patent Office to deny patents to “me too” drugs (i.e the new drug has to do something new or at least demonstrably better). There are other answers than price controls.

Barb304
3 years ago
Reply to  Elena Tellez

After big pharma’s attempt to put CBD on the controlled substance list everyone should be well aware of their deceitfulness and lies regarding why drug prices are so high. Drug prices are already outrageous and continue to rise almost daily. Why, you say? One word GREED! We have a greed epidemic in this country.

Marsi
3 years ago
Reply to  Elena Tellez

Good points. Thank you Elena T.

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