Loading...
I see the Mayor is getting out his signs again this year. This is a welcome sight because he deserves another term for...

Trump's healthcare plan would hurt NC

Mary Griswold.png
1 of 2

Mary Griswold

Drew Johnson.JPG
Loading…

Friday, August 9, 2019

The Trump administration is considering a draft regulation to lower drug prices. North Carolinians have little reason to celebrate.

The administration’s proposal would impose price controls in Medicare. Rather than helping patients save money, this drastic step would stifle access to state-of-the-art drugs for folks across the country, including many right here in North Carolina.

It’s up to lawmakers in Congress — especially dedicated patient advocates like Senator Richard Burr — to defeat this misguided reform.

The proposal would impact Medicare Part B, which covers complex medicines administered by doctors. Currently, Part B pays more for these drugs than the government insurance programs in other developed countries, such as the United Kingdom, Canada and France.

That’s because, in those countries, the government strictly controls drug prices. For example, Canada’s Patented Medicine Prices Review Board determines the price of every new medicine that’s released. If a drug company refuses to accept the government-dictated price, these countries simply refuse to cover the medicine in question.

It’s certainly unfair that foreign countries underpay for the latest drugs, many of which are created right here in the United States. The administration’s plan is meant to level the playing field by tying reimbursement for Part B drugs to the prices paid in 14 other developed countries, most of which rely on price controls.

Unfortunately, this model doesn’t crack-down on these price control schemes — it copies them. That means copying their negative impact as well.

Drug companies are eager to launch their products in countries like the United States that pay market prices for medicines. That’s why 95 percent of cancer drugs released in the last few years were immediately available in the American market. By contrast, Canadian patients had access to only 58 percent of them, while only 65 percent were available in France.

If the government imposes price controls in Medicare, it will discourage drug companies from launching their medicines as quickly as possible in the United States. Patients would suffer.

Reduced access to the newest cancer treatments would be especially devastating here in North Carolina, where cancer is already the leading cause of death. This year alone, 20,400 state residents will succumb to this deadly disease.

The long-term consequences of embracing price controls would be even worse. By adding uncertainty to the drug development process, price controls would cripple innovation.

It costs about $2.6 billion to bring a new drug to market. That process can stretch on for over a decade, and often ends in failure. Innovators are willing to make these risky investments because creating a single successful drug can enable them to earn back their upfront costs, reward investors, and fund future research.

That incentive will disappear if the government can set artificially low prices for drugs. Without the possibility of earning a return on their investments, drug companies would view research and development as an all risk, no reward proposition.

Consequently, they’d scale back investment into new treatments for cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and countless other conditions. Generations of patients would be denied medical innovations that could be just around the corner.

These changes should worry North Carolinians, especially those with family members suffering from Alzheimer’s. North Carolina is currently home to 170,000 individuals with the disease. That number is expected to rise more than 23 percent over the next six years.

Despite being the nation’s sixth leading cause of death, progress in treating Alzheimer’s has been dispiritingly slow. Only five Alzheimer’s drugs have ever been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and no new drugs have earned approval in over 15 years.

The administration’s proposed price controls would only add to the challenges of discovering new therapies for the disease.

Sen. Burr has advocated long for Alzheimer’s patients. He cosponsored the Alzheimer’s Breakthrough Act, which aimed to increase the federal government’s Alzheimer’s research efforts. He also championed a law that provides funding to help find missing Alzheimer’s patients.

Sen. Burr’s work could be undone if price control policies spread to the United States. With any luck, he and his colleagues won’t let that happen.

Mary Griswold is a New Bern resident who authors the blog rightwinggranny.com and is member of the Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association. Drew Johnson is a senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy and a government watchdog columnist at Newsmax.

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Editorials

September 15, 2019

It was daytime when the first bands of Hurricane Floyd began lashing eastern North Carolina and the Greenville area on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 1999, 20 years ago today.

The Tar River was nearly 5 feet above flood stage already, thanks in good measure to two passes by Hurricane Dennis two weeks before.…

floyd

August 18, 2019

A nearly unanimous vote by the Greenville City Council this month to annex nearly 400 acres well outside the city limits raises questions about the rights of rural residents and the city’s direction when it comes to managing growth.

The council voted 5-1 with Rick Smiley in opposition to…

052319rezoning-1.JPG

August 09, 2019

The Trump administration is considering a draft regulation to lower drug prices. North Carolinians have little reason to celebrate.

The administration’s proposal would impose price controls in Medicare. Rather than helping patients save money, this drastic step would stifle access to state-of-…

Mary Griswold.png

July 28, 2019

Everyone embroiled in the debate over the State Health Plan should be working toward the same thing: the best health care for the lowest cost for the people of North Carolina.

Unfortunately, disagreement over how to do that escalated into a feud and now has plummeted into a childlike spat.

The…

Vidant medical center

July 21, 2019

“Send her back!”

The racist refrain, soft at first, crescendoed as the crowd at President Donald Trump’s “Keep America Great” rally on Wednesday in Greenville emphatically picked it up. On live television, sitting stage right of the President at East Carolina…

rallycrowd

July 04, 2019

As the story goes, our Founding Fathers declared their independence from their mother country 243 years ago today, that the “united colonies are, and of right, ought to be free and Independent States; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown.”

It is a day that…

07-04-19 July 4th Flag2

June 10, 2019

As the election results became clear in 2016, financial markets rose amid a surge of economic optimism. That surge continued for two years as Donald Trump and Republicans pursued a pro-growth agenda of tax reform, deregulation and encouraging domestic energy production. But with Democrats now…

June 08, 2019

Keith Cox served the residents of Virginia Beach in the public utilities department for 12 years.

Well-liked by co-workers, he spent his final moments on Friday working to protect them from a gunman in the municipal center — sacrificing his life in the process.

The remembrance of Cox,…

APTOPIX Virginia Beach Shooting-6

June 04, 2019

Give Harry Smith credit for being willing to do his homework and change his mind.

Smith, the usually outspoken and politically conservative chairman of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors, emerged from a recent board meeting and told reporters that his thinking about what to do…

Confederate Monuments-5

June 03, 2019

Vice President Mike Pence came to Charlotte this week for a 2020 Republican National Convention kickoff event. The visit was a reminder of the discomfort many feel in this progressive city about the 2020 RNC — an uneasiness so deep that Mayor Vi Lyles said last summer that she wouldn’t…

RNC Charlotte 2020-4
14 stories in Editorials. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 2
        Next Page»   Last Page»