Policy Proposals

On this page, you’ll find our analysis on key state and federal pharmaceutical policy proposals, with a focus on providing the expected economic impact from these proposals.

As the coronavirus pandemic wreaks more and more medical and social havoc worldwide, we need to recall the observation of The Great One—no, not Dr. Tony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health—the other one, hockey player Wayne Gretzky, who said, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” Anticipating what’s coming is especially important in confronting an emerging infectious disease whose dynamics and possible impacts we don’t yet know. If we react too...

The costs of economic fallacies are magnified during times of crises. Unfortunately, the Trump Administration’s trade fallacies are not only threatening our economic well-being, they are now putting people’s lives at risk. It is becoming politically incorrect to recognize that the expansion of international trade has helped Americans live better, more prosperous, lives. But, that does not change the reality that Americans benefit greatly from the global economy. As Dr. Arthur Laffer explained in a 2007 speech on the pillars of Reaganomics at the...

Even for a nation as mighty, wealthy, and innovative as the United States, some problems don’t have ready solutions. Instead, we need to try to gather information, limit damage, and perform the needed course corrections. That’s where we are with the outbreak of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (the illness caused by which is designated COVID-19). There are some harsh, even frightening realities. First, we are past the point at which “containment” (the prevention of spread beyond known sources, such as travelers to China or...

The Green New Dealers want us to think we have to either live more austere lives under coercive government policies or destroy the planet. Opponents of their plan, the theory goes, are willing to sacrifice the environment for short-term financial prosperity for the elite few. Nothing could be further from the truth. Meeting Americans’ needs, especially those of the neediest, requires free markets that can realize and reward the benefits of technological innovations, big and small. Big innovations are those such as the...

California wants to get into the drug making business. Gov. Gavin Newsom just announced his intention to have the state contract with generic drug manufacturers to make drugs to sell to state residents, presumably at lower cost than they’re available on the market today. But the plan won’t deliver much in the way of savings. In fact, it could cost taxpayers a significant amount of money. There are far more effective ways to make prescription drugs more affordable — say, by injecting...

The White House Council of Economic Advisors just issued a damning indictment of a House bill (H.R. 3) designed to lower drug prices. According to White House economists, the measure endorsed by Nancy Pelosi and her fellow House Democrats could prevent the development of 100 new drugs over the next ten years. CEA concluded "the threat [the bill] poses to continued medical innovation will harm American patients in ways that far outweigh any benefits." This analysis is spot-on. That's why it's so surprising that...

Drug supply chain, pricing system reforms will slash healthcare costs, says PRI By Jeff Lagasse As the Trump administration pushes for price caps and government controls to address prescription drug prices, a new issue brief released by the Center for Medical Economics and Innovation at the Pacific Research Institute contends that reforming the complex drug supply chain and ending the current drug pricing system that overcharges patients – along with systemwide reforms – are what's needed to lower America's healthcare costs. Many proposals have been...

Twenty-five years ago, the leading cause of death for adults between the ages of 25 and 44 was complications from HIV. At the time, 50,000 Americans were dying from AIDS-related causes a year, with the African American community particularly hard hit – 49 percent of the people dying from AIDS-related deaths were African Americans. Today, thanks to highly active antiretroviral therapies (HAART), along with other medical advances, people with HIV like basketball great Magic Johnson are living longer and healthier lives. And,...

A recent New York Times editorial about the Food and Drug Administration reflects a systematic weakness at the once-venerable Gray Lady: The members of the editorial board often rely on sloganeering and popular wisdom instead of substantive evidence. The editorial was headlined, “The FDA Is in Trouble. Here’s How to Fix It.” The agency is in trouble. But it’s due to the very kinds of “fixes” the Times recommends. The FDA is highly bureaucratic and risk averse, leading to a slow and expensive drug approval...

Dr. Wayne Winegarden, director of PRI’s Center for Medical Economics and Innovation, breaks down recently-proposed plans in Washington and Sacramento that emphasize price caps and more government control to address prescription drug prices. He discusses the conclusions of his new study on America’s drug pricing challenge, which makes the case that system-wide reforms to improve the complex drug supply chain and increase transparency are what’s needed to lower health care costs. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXSIkIWH3X4[/embed]...

Yesterday the House passed the ill-considered “Pelosi bill” that would impose draconian price controls on drugs. Ignoring the bill’s many adverse impacts, price control advocates like Speaker Pelosi appear to believe that these command and control schemes can solve the systemic health care affordability problem. But, as the latest government data illustrates, such efforts are a fool’s errand. Consider that back in 1960 national health expenditures equaled 5.0% of GDP. Health expenditures have been growing faster than the economy ever since reaching 17.7%...

Biosimilars could generate savings of about $116 million in New Jersey annually—including the state’s Medicaid program and patients with commercial insurance, according to a new issue brief by the Center for Medical Economics and Innovation at the Pacific Research Institute. Nationwide, those annual savings could reach $7 billion. PRI is a San Francisco-based free-market think tank. “We broke it down so you can look at it by state total and then breakout how much is for Medicaid which is directly applicable...

Once wide coercive powers are given to government agencies…such powers cannot be effectively controlled. F.A. Hayek As part of the chorus calling for drug price controls, the New York Times editorial page has claimed that “Americans will need to accept a trade-off that other advanced nations long since come around to: Slightly fewer new drugs will come to market, in exchange for better prices on the medications that already exist”. There is not one part of this statement that is true. Worse, if the Times’...

Lars brings on Dr. Henry Miller, a physician, molecular biologist and Senior Fellow at the Pacific Research Institute, and widely published in both scholarly journals and the popular press to discuss this year’s battle against the ever so deadly flu virus. According to Dr. Miller, “Last flu season, which ran from October 2018 until May 2019, caused up to 42.9 million flu illnesses, up to 647,000 hospitalizations and up to 61,200 flu deaths.” Listen below for more. ...

In September 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) sent an email announcing that it would no longer cover Auryxia®. Auryxia® is an FDA approved medicine that treats iron deficiency anemia (anemia) for patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) but who are not on dialysis. People with CKD have damaged kidneys that no longer filter their blood properly. Currently, 30 million people in the U.S. are living with CKD, and for these patients, anemia is common. If left untreated,...

When it comes to determining value, the U.S. health care system faces unique challenges. Without a better approach, the twin goals of continued innovation and broad-based drug affordability will be difficult, if not impossible, to maintain. Value assessment models are quickly becoming the approach du jour to overcome these challenges. However, value assessment models suffer from several flaws, but perhaps most importantly, as applied, these models assume that there is one number that accurately portrays the value of a medicine to all patients. Such an...

A debate over the direction of healthcare reform is roiling the Democratic Party as it weighs whom to nominate for President in 2020. But the party does appear to have coalesced around a basic idea. “We believe that health care is a human right, and we are going to fight for a system that is based on human needs,” said progressive champion Senator Bernie Sanders at a recent campaign stop. Joe Biden’s campaign offers a similar line: “We all believe that health care...

San Diegans and all Californians will pay a high price should a bill introduced by Assemblyman Jim Wood, a Democrat from Santa Rosa, become law. Proponents claim the bill is necessary to rein in anti-competitive practices by the pharmaceutical industry, but in reality, it will delay generic entry and raise the costs of medicines for Californians. The ostensible rationale for Assembly Bill 824 is to stop “pay-for-delay” tactics. “Pay-for-delay” refers to the practice of patented drug manufacturers paying off generic manufacturers for the sole...