By Tom McCoy
Working in tandem, state officials and the biopharmaceutical industry have succeeded in making COVID vaccines accessible and plentiful throughout Nevada helping with our economy’s recovery. But bypassing just one federal healthcare bill, that all could change.
To crush our state’s access to new vaccines and other medications, Congress need only embrace a nationwide system of healthcare price controls. And unfortunately, some federal lawmakers are already pushing this type of policy proposal.
Why are price controls so dangerous? A recently released Vital Transformation study reveals the answer. In analyzing the effects of H.R. 3—a prescription drug price-setting bill known as the Lower Healthcare Costs Act—Vital Transformation found that the proposal would limit healthcare access across the nation. Nevada already has healthcare access challenges. The bill’s prescription drug price controls could prevent the industry from reinvesting into future drug development. This means few new drugs for patients in need, diminishing the high level of quality healthcare access Americans deserve.
“H.R. 3,” the study concludes, “‘penalizes’ companies producing the most effective and innovative treatments,” threatening severe consequences for American healthcare access. Price controls “disproportionately impact new treatments in rare diseases,” and if implemented, 61 fewer, potentially life-saving medicines would be produced over the next 10 years.
Without these biopharmaceutical innovations at the ready, Nevadans would suffer unnecessary medical scarcity. Doctors would have fewer options to tailor prescriptions to their patients’ healthcare needs—while others with rare, life-threatening conditions could be left with no treatments available at all. Indeed, the consequences of government price-setting proposals like H.R. 3 are dire, and particularly with the past year’s experiences with the global pandemic, they should be avoided at all costs.
Undoubtedly, COVID-19 has illustrated the importance of healthcare access and demonstrated the value of medical innovation. Together with state officials, Nevada’s biopharmaceutical companies are leading that charge, providing patients with ample opportunity to receive the care—and vaccinations—they need. We can’t allow misconceived federal legislation, like H.R. 3, to change that.