U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks Thursday on the Senate floor regarding drug pricing:
“Last week, the Biden Administration rolled out the first targets of a scheme it’s been working on for years – prescription drug socialism.
“Ironically enough, Washington Democrats’ plan to fix prices in the market for world-leading medical innovations is baked into legislation they produced after their own runaway spending sent consumer prices through the roof.
“As we know, the Inflation Reduction Act did nothing to reduce inflation. And by one estimate, the government price controls it created will may well cost the American economy 676,000 jobs.
“Mr. President, before Democrats rammed the IRA through on party lines, average net prices for drugs were actually stable or falling. But that didn’t stop the Biden Administration from storming ahead with a drug-by-drug federal power grab.
“So let’s be clear about what this means. Companies that don’t comply with the Administration’s scheme will be forced to pay an unprecedented and excessive fine or withdraw their products from Medicare coverage, leaving American seniors with fewer options for life-saving treatments.
“Meanwhile, researchers will have less certainty to dedicate years to creating the high quality, consumer friendly, affordable medications American industry is known for.
“Research from the University of Chicago estimates that prescription drug socialism will result in 135 fewer new drugs, 188 fewer new treatments, and a $663 billion drop in innovative research and development. It will impact 60% of cancer medications on the market today, and inevitably freeze innovations on future treatments.
“To make matters worse, limits on price increases will force manufacturers to launch new drugs at much higher prices to cover future rising costs, and leave many low income and elderly Americans simply out of luck.
“Price-fixing is not some bright new idea cooked up on a liberal college campus. It’s the sort of decrepit socialism that’s been tried – with disastrous results – in places like China, Cuba, Venezuela, and the former Soviet Union.
“We cannot afford for America’s world-leading medical innovators to be next on the left-wing chopping block. And the millions of Americans living with rare and aggressive diseases can afford it least of all.”