Saturday, November 07, 2009

Pelosi's Bill Will Stifle Medical Innovation

Shutting off the miracle-drug spigot

Pelosi's bill may cost pharmaceutical companies $150 billion over a decade -- nearly double the amount they conceded when they cut a White House-approved deal with Sen. Max Baucus this summer.

The Pelosi bill is a prescription for fewer new life-saving drugs. By stifling innovation, it would hurt not only industry, but also all of us who'd benefit from new-drug development.

Democrats in Washington are out to cut health-care costs at the expense of the research-intensive (as opposed to generic) pharmaceutical industry. Yet drugs often improve the span and quality of life in a remarkably cost-effective way...

Nor are the drug companies the only target. The Pelosi bill has $20 billion in "user fees" (read: taxes) on medical-device manufacturers. New devices such as artificial joints, pacemakers and insulin pumps are often developed by small startup companies -- those least capable of paying these punitive up-front regulatory expenses. And the working Senate bill aims at $40 billion from the industry.

Democrats treat medicine as if it is static, as opposed to dynamic. Creating fewer incentives for innovation is counterproductive and un-American.