Connecticut’s bioscience industry today called drug price control proposals “ill-conceived and counterproductive” and a threat to sector innovation and investment.
Connecticut Bioscience Growth Council executive director Paul Pescatello responded to calls earlier this week by Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont for price controls.
“However well-intentioned, the proposals promoted by the governors of Massachusetts and Connecticut run counter to what actually promotes innovation and saves lives,” Pescatello said.
“Price controls never work. You name the product or service, medicines, flour, gas—you erect arbitrary government price controls, you get less of it.
“Countries with drug price controls suffer drug shortages and delayed entry of innovative new medicines.”
Pescatello said prescription drug prices represent just 10% to 14% of overall healthcare costs and reflect the significant time and costs of developing lifesaving medicines.
“Proponents of heavy-handed government price controls attempt to paint a picture of drug prices as looming large in the healthcare equation. In fact, this slice of the healthcare cost pie has been remarkably stable since World War II.
“Controlling drug prices will not do anything about other factors, including hospitalizations, doctor’s visits, administration, and government fees, taxes, and benefit mandates.
“Biopharma companies can only take on the enormous risks of new research and development—most new medicine R&D efforts do not result in a new drug—if they are confident that they can recoup their investment.
“Do not overlook the fact that revenue from each new drug supports a vast amount of highly valuable research and thousands of new drug candidates that do not result in FDA-approved new medicines.
“Drugs, despite their sometimes apparent high cost, are far cheaper than the hospitalizations and surgeries they replace.
“Cystic fibrosis is a good example of this. Cutting edge drugs have extended the lives of cystic fibrosis patients by 30 years and drastically reduced the amount of time cystic fibrosis patients are tethered to machines in long hospital stays.
“New medicines are the way out, not the cause of healthcare cost inflation.”
Pescatello said policymakers must support innovation and research and development in the biopharma sector, noting the successful development of COVID-19 vaccines.
“Look what Pfizer, which has a significant presence in Connecticut, was able to accomplish,” he said. “That incredible effort reflected countless years of research and hundreds of millions of dollars invested in previous vaccine development.
“The proposals by Governors Baker and Lamont will stifle innovation and turn the research and development miracle of the Connecticut and Massachusetts biotech cluster into a nightmare.”
CBIA is Connecticut’s largest business organization, with thousands of member companies, small and large, representing a diverse range of industries from every part of the state. For more information, please contact Joe Budd (860.244.1951).