Price Setting Policies Undermine Innovation

By Earl M. of Washington State

    Picture of Earl M.

    Throughout my career as a respiratory therapist, I have worked with patients dealing with chronic health conditions. It has been a point of pride in my life to serve seniors in my community and provide them with quality care. That said, I know from firsthand experience that every patient is different and may need to try several different medications before finding the one that works best for them. The relationship between a doctor, or medical professional, and their patient is so important because they can work with them one-on-one to determine the right pathway for care.   

    It is crucial that patients have treatment options available to them, which is why I support the biopharmaceutical industry’s efforts to develop new medicines and cures. What I do not support are misguided prescription price setting policies that could undermine these efforts.

    As a Medicare beneficiary myself, I have grave concerns that recent policy changes announced by the Biden Administration could threaten access to the medications I rely on, or any of my senior patients could need.
    As I continue to get older, and face new health challenges, I want to ensure new treatments can be researched, brought to market, and available to meet my changing needs. Unfortunately, if price setting policies continue to be implemented, I fear that might not be the case. 

    While prescription price setting may sound like a reasonable way to lower additional health care costs, in reality, it could have significant long-term consequences and seniors in Medicare may not even see any savings. Resources the industry needs to uncover new insights could be reduced or access to current medications may dwindle altogether.  As a senior, I know the challenges elderly patients can already face getting the care they need, and our government shouldn’t add onto those problems by enforcing restrictive partisan policies that could inhibit prescription options. 

    Make no mistake about it, if lawmakers continue down this road and pass more price setting measures, access to care could become even more threatened, and future biopharmaceutical innovations could face significant setbacks. We have seen the value of breakthrough treatments time and time again, and now is not the time to risk the chances of new medical advancements that give patients what they desperately need—hope.  

    As lawmakers in Washington, DC and in state capitols across the country continue to discuss healthcare reforms, it is paramount they remember to put the needs of senior patients like me, and the ones I served, first.

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