Will Washington Prevent a Cure for Cancer?

July 22, 2011
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The United States can rightly claim the title of medicine chest to the world. Almost two-thirds of research on new medicines approved in the last 10 years was performed in this country. Today, the U.S. accounts for 82% of the biotechnology research and development in the world and has over 2,900 medicines in the pipeline. U.S. biopharmaceutical exports rose to $46 billion in 2009 from $29 billion in 2005. [Yet] there are two big public-policy threats on the horizon for Merck … the biopharmaceutical industry.

The United States can rightly claim the title of medicine chest to the world. Almost two-thirds of research on new medicines approved in the last 10 years was performed in this country. Today, the U.S. accounts for 82% of the biotechnology research and development in the world and has over 2,900 medicines in the pipeline. U.S. biopharmaceutical exports rose to $46 billion in 2009 from $29 billion in 2005. [Yet] there are two big public-policy threats on the horizon for Merck … the biopharmaceutical industry. One is the Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB, which originated in last year’s health-reform law. This board has the power to reduce Medicare payments for innovative products simply because overall Medicare costs exceed certain budget targets in any one year. The other harmful proposal on Washington’s agenda would impose price controls for the first time on the Medicare Part D prescription-drug program.

See article on U.S. government regulations that halter medical progress.