Magazine article Drug Topics

Drugmakers Fear Rx Price Controls Would Threaten R&D

Magazine article Drug Topics

Drugmakers Fear Rx Price Controls Would Threaten R&D

Article excerpt

Future cures and comforts for sufferers of major diseases will be in jeopardy if government policy makers use price controls to cut drug costs, according to the new chairman of the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America. "Right now, we are developing 538 new medicines to combat 12 major medical problems," said Gordon M. Binder at PhRMA's annual meeting in Boca Raton, Fla., last month. "These medical problems cost more than $640 billion a year in direct medical expenses and lost productivity. Price controls would threaten the tremendous promise our industry holds for treating these problems and reducing these costs."

Binder, chairman and CEO of Amgen, equated price controls with the mandated-discounts part of some Medicare drug-benefit legislation. Earlier this year, for the first time, PhRMA said it could support Rx coverage as part of private-sector health plans Medicare beneficiaries could buy with varying degrees of government financial aid. The chief Congressional architects of that approach, Sen. …

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