Politics

Democrat Socialized Medicine Would Kill Medical Innovation And Kill People

No bucks, no medical miracles.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

When someone asked a NASA official what made the rockets go up, he responded, “funding.” Yup, no bucks no Buck Rogers. Research and development in any field is not free. Because of testing, this is true especially in medicine. Democrat efforts to deincentivize medical research will cost lives. Newt Gingrich breaks it down.

Gingrich: The Democrats like to present themselves as the party of science, but two recent announcements show just how ignorant they are about how science moves from the lab into our medicine cabinet.

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The first announcement was results from Pfizer’s clinical trial of its new anti-viral treatment for COVID-19. The treatment reduced hospital admissions in high-risk individuals by a stunning 90 percent compared to those receiving a placebo. Even more remarkably, not a single person receiving the treatment died. The second announcement was that Democrats reached an agreement on a measure that would disrupt and ultimately cripple the life sciences investment system that helps make breakthroughs like this possible.

The Democrats’ destructive proposal would allow Medicare to dictate the price it pays for certain classes of drugs. The Democrats call their price dictation plan “negotiation,” but like so much of political language, this word choice is a deliberate lie. The arrangement’s structure gives the government all the leverage, including a penalty tax of 95 percent on gross sales of the drug if the manufacturer refuses the government’s demand.

Considering it takes on average over $2 billion or more in investments, and over 10 years development time, to bring a new drug to market, who would risk this capital if after all that time and money the government imposes an arbitrary price in which there may be no adequate return on investments?

While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. prioritized short-term dollar signs over long-term implications for patients, so-called moderate Democrats were able to narrow the number of drugs eligible for price dictation to those whose exclusivity period has worn off. Yet, even this compromise is ill-conceived.

We already have a highly successful system of lowering costs on drugs past their exclusivity period: generics and biosimilars. These brand name alternatives generated $2 trillion in savings over the past decade. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration estimates that a drug’s price falls by nearly 40 percent when the first generic enters the market – and by 80 percent with four or more.

Dictating the price of drugs past their exclusivity window would put generic and biosimilar development at risk because generic manufacturers won’t be able to anticipate a price point for the drug they will be competing against. The result will likely be less competition, which could ultimately lead to higher prices than we would have had with more generic and biosimilar options…

Democrats should keep in mind that the cardinal rule in medicine is to “do no harm.” Their proposal fails this test. It would harm patients by starving the drug research and development process of the investment dollars it needs to innovate and develop new treatments and cures, including against future new viruses like COVID-19.  Any Democrat who cares about patients should vote against this measure.

David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

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