Biden's Build Back Better would do real damage to medical innovation just when we need it most

最有害的威胁是众议院通过、现在提交参议院的“重建更好”法案中包含的对制药公司的价格控制. This would take up to half a trillion dollars of profits out of drug and vaccine manufacturers—which may reduce prices in the short run at the cost of slowing the race for the cure in the next generation of wonder drugs.

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Or consider the astounding health benefits from new medical devices, particularly sophisticated imaging machines (MRIs, CTs, PET scanners) which patients and healthcare providers rely on for diagnosis and care. These devices save many hundreds of thousands of lives each year. They also lower health costs by detecting diseases when they are treatable and by verifying when expensive and invasive surgeries are necessary.

But too many members of Congress treat the industry like a federal piggy bank to be raided. Remember that ObamaCare was funded, 部分地, with a special tax on these device technologies.

That doesn’t make much sense since profits aren’t evil—they speed innovation, 投资, and medical progress.

Another front and center issue now in Washington is what are sometimes calledRight to Repair” 法律. The question is whether the federal government should compel the transfer of intellectual property ostensibly for purposes ofmedical device repair.

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These laws grant third-party, independent service contractors access to proprietary information in order to service medical equipment which some say would lower the costs of servicing and repairing multi-million dollar machines and equipment. Sounds good. But the legislation would force original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to hand over intellectual property, including proprietary training materials and schematics. The laws would make it easier for competitors tocopy catdevices that are protected by patents.

If a medical device is not serviced properly, it can create serious risks for patients, 医生, technologists, and health delivery organizations. Mistakes can cause injury or death to a patient and/or the device operator. Poor quality images from improperly serviced imaging devices can lead to a missed or delayed diagnosis at worst, and unnecessary repeated imaging procedures at best.

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If hospitals or physicians don’t want to purchase the machines with the service contracts that come with them, they can shop elsewhere. But requiring one manufacturer to relinquish trade secrets to a third-party servicer could be devastating to the innovation process. This would be like granting RC Cola access to Coca-Cola’s recipe.

What we have here is a classic case of the competing interests of short-term savings versus long term innovation and health care technology. Medical innovation protected by patents increases costs in the short term, but the societal benefits from health care breakthroughs pay for themselves many times over.

That’s true not just here in America, but across the globe. 根据 National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), 之间 2000 和 2009, new therapies accounted for more than 70 percent of the increased life expectancy in 30 国家.

Why in the world would Congress or the Food and Drug Administration want to do anything to slow this down just to save a few bucks?

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