Order threatens medical innovation
In mid-September, the White House announced an executive order that will threaten the work of American biopharmaceutical researchers as they develop cures and treatments for countless diseases, including COVID-19.
This "most favored nations" order links domestic drug prices to prices in other countries and controls drug prices based on the health care systems of other countries.
In the midst of a global pandemic while dealing with a virus that is unknown and attempting on all fronts to develop a vaccine, is this really the time to be implementing an order that will affect the biopharmaceutical industry?
The president is touting this order as an instrument to reduce out-of-pocket expenses and lower drug costs. While on the surface, reducing costs may sound like a very good idea and saving Medicare patients money makes a great talking point, in reality, it seems questionable that the United States should be taking the price controls from other countries that have government-run health care systems and plugging them into a free market health system, such as the one in the U.S.
This order is evidence that the Trump Administration's priorities are misaligned, in that government price controls will always be politically motivated and not designed for the well-being of the public. The president's proposal to link domestic drug prices to foreign prices threatens the work that the American biopharmaceutical industry is doing to advance treatments and find a vaccine for COVID-19 in that financing that might be utilized toward the vaccine trials could now be diverted elsewhere.
To best ensure success in the fight against COVID-19, it is imperative that our lawmakers protect our biopharmaceutical scientists and researchers from policies like this that might impede their chances to do so.