Is Access to the Latest Medications at Risk for America’s Patients?

There is no question that countries with smart policy frameworks are driving important medical innovations.

Existing research such as the US Chamber International IP Index has proven that countries with an effective intellectual property (IP) infrastructure have greater innovation output and better access to resulting innovations such as vaccines and therapeutics. But how can we demonstrate the impact of bad policy choices? Look no further than the US Chamber’s new Patient Access Report.

data diving: This new report examines the national biopharmaceutical market for nine Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) economies and assesses the impact of their policies on access to innovative medicines. The research shows how the imposition of price controls and similar policies prevent future innovation and access.

Relevant and up to date: Most OECD economies apply tight price controls. Prior to the recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the US was the only OECD economy not to have direct national price controls in place.

What does that mean for me?Anger, to put it simply. Countries that apply price controls experience severe consequences that affect their citizens, such as:

  • Fewer biopharmaceutical launches:The underperforming economies in the study, Canada, Japan, South Korea and Australia, have experienced significantly fewer biopharmaceutical product launches over the past 20 years than the United States.
  • Less biologics:Countries with the toughest cost-containment policies, such as South Korea and Australia, have had less than half of new biologics launched in the last 20 years compared to other countries. Additionally, only 49% of new biologics launched in the US over the past 20 years have been available in South Korea, while only 38% have been available in Australia.
  • Delayed access to treatments:In Germany, whose overall score was 63.94%, patients wait an average of 133 days before accessing new treatments.

A wake up call:It is clear that price controls and containment measures are hurting biopharmaceutical innovation and patient access. Why isn’t the US government abandoning such efforts contained in the IRA?

Our opinion:US government officials must consider the impact of price controls on patients before implementing the proposed IRA framework. Implementation of the IRA will undermine the ecosystem that has made the US one of the most innovative countries in the world, not to mention the pipeline of new medical breakthroughs being developed, launched and available in our country.

So tell our guides:Follow the data and reconsider price controls in the IRA.


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