Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Medical Research Won't Survive the Epipen Hearings

The Mylan hearings before Congress today show why the US is losing its pre-eminence as a medical research leader.  The chilling effect of the bi-partisan grilling of the Mylan CEO by ignorant Republicans and Democrats will have an effect.

If you knew that you could discover the cure for cancer, but that it would be costly in time and money, why bother?  If you made any effort to price your cure to cover your costs, you might find yourself sitting in front of a bunch of Congressional nincompoops, who have no understanding of how R&D works, how expensive it is, and how the costs can only be recaptured by charging a relatively high price.

If you make the pricing of an outstanding drug, that cures serious illnesses, a political football, then fewer of these drugs will be produced.  If the choice is between an expensive cure and no cure at all, these Congressional ignoramuses would choose no cure at all.  And, that is the likely result of the political circus that took place today in Congress on the Epipen issue.

True, the FDA is the main impediment to competition, but that doesn't mean that Mylan should lower the price of Epipen.  Congress should rein in the FDA and limit the FDA's ability to prevent competitive products from entering the market place.  They should leave Mylan alone.

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