Every day, the more than 900,000 biopharmaceutical industry employees across the United States work to research, develop and manufacture lifesaving medicines and treatments. Unfortunately, some policymakers have proposed dangerous government price-setting policies that threaten this work. These policies come in a variety of forms, but they all lead to the government inserting itself between patients and providers, jeopardizing access to treatments and chilling research and development of new medicines.
In countries where the government is allowed to set prices for medicines, patients have access to fewer new medicines and wait longer to get the medicines they need. While nearly 90% of new medicines launched globally in the past decade are currently available to patients in the United States, roughly half are available to patients in other countries like France and Canada. Decisions made by foreign governments about what medicines and, therefore, what patients are worth have led to discrimination against the elderly, the chronically ill and people with disabilities and have had devastating consequences for many. It is naïve to think the same couldn’t happen in the United States if these policies were implemented.
The United States has a collaborative research and development ecosystem system that fosters and supports medical innovation. It also makes it possible for America’s biopharmaceutical industry to work hand-in-hand with government agencies, universities and hospitals to develop lifesaving vaccines and treatments. As a result, America is currently the global leader in medical innovation. We cannot take that leadership for granted by implementing government price setting policies that undercut R&D.
The biopharmaceutical industry currently supports nearly 4.5 million U.S. jobs, including directly employing more than 900,000 Americans, and operates more than 1,500 facilities in 47 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. One-third of industry jobs are in high-wage STEM occupations, like engineering and physical and life sciences. Additionally, the industry supports manufacturing and transportation roles. These jobs are put at risk under government price-setting policies because of the significant impact they could have on the functioning of the industry in the United States.