Advocates of allowing government appointees to set certain drug prices are ignoring some potentially serious unintended consequences that could harm Indiana seniors and our state’s robust life sciences industry. As the president of a multi-generational manufacturing company within Indiana’s life sciences sector, I’ve seen firsthand the significant impact pharmaceutical research and development can have on both patients and our state’s economy.
While Congress has not released its final proposal on what’s known as government arbitration, we do know leaders are considering allowing government appointees to have the final say on the costs of drugs for millions of Americans enrolled in Medicare. This change would discard the market-based approach to drug pricing that has helped make America the world leader in the development of cutting-edge treatments for serious illnesses. It is paramount that Indiana representatives oppose a poorly thought out plan.
In European countries where government arbitration has been implemented, investments in drug research and development have stagnated and patients are routinely denied effective treatments that are freely available in the U.S. In fact, an analysis of 16 countries with arbitration policies found that their patients waited an average of 17 months longer than U.S. patients for access to innovative cancer drugs. That could be part of the reason why the five-year cancer survival rate is 42 percent higher for men and 15 percent higher for women in the U.S. than in Europe.
In addition to the health risks and access issues arbitration could pose for beneficiaries, it would also threaten the state and nation’s economy. By discouraging investment and innovation, binding government arbitration could diminish the $1.3 trillion in economic output generated by the U.S. biopharmaceutical industry. Our state’s $64.5 billion biopharmaceutical industry could be hit the hardest.
The life sciences sector plays a pivotal role in Indiana. We rank in the top five states for total number of life sciences businesses (1,751 companies), concentration of companies, and largest number of industry jobs. Biopharmaceutical jobs are especially prevalent, as Indiana has the second highest concentration of them in the nation. Of the approximately 56,000 Hoosiers who make their living in life sciences, about 24,000 are employed by biopharmaceutical companies, creating a spinoff effect that supports 165,000 total jobs throughout the economy.
Drug prices, set by unelected, government bureaucrats solely focused on reducing Medicare government spending will only discourage investment in the industry, reduce employment opportunities for Indiana workers, and hinder research and development of new treatments.
Reducing investment in medical innovation will decrease future access to these new treatments and harm the approximately 1.2 million Hoosiers who depend on Medicare for vital treatments and medications. For their sake, and for the sake of Indiana life sciences companies and their employees, we should all make it clear to our elected officials in Washington that we do not want to see government arbitration become a part of Medicare.
Kevin Schaefer is the president of Schaefer Technologies in Indianapolis.
By Kate Arndt Financial Planning Coordinator, Bedel Financial Consulting Inc.
Americans are in the age of reducing waste. There’s a big push to purchase sustainable products, reduce our usage of plastics, and recycle. But has this trend carried over to our personal finances? Not really. In a study by The Ascent, the financial expertise arm of The Motley Fool, more than 60 percent of respondents felt they have wasteful financial tendencies. Why is that?
An Indiana University alumnus who founded the information technology firm, ServiceNow, has given his alma mater $60 million to establish an artificial intelligence center. The university says the gift from cloud-computing pioneer Fred Luddy is the second largest in the history of the IU.
After three years on the job, Salesforce Marketing Cloud Chief Executive Officer Bob Stutz is moving into a new role. Stutz, who will remain in Indianapolis, is now executive vice president of strategic partners at Salesforce (NYSE: CRM). Since arriving in Indianapolis, Stutz has overseen the establishment of the company’s regional headquarters in downtown Indianapolis, which included the Salesforce name being placed atop the state’s tallest building.
By Ryan Collier Director of Investment Management, Bedel Financial Consulting Inc.
If you have a mortgage on your house, what happens when you die? What about a car lease or credit card debt? Are your heirs required to pay off what you owe? What is the financial legacy that you will leave behind? Your legacy could be the bequest of property or money, but it could also mean inheriting debt. It’s not uncommon for spouses or others to get bombarded with collection calls from creditors asking to pay the bills of a family member who has died.
South Dakota-based POET LLC, the nation’s largest biofuels producer, is moving forward with a plan to shut down its biorefining plant in Cloverdale, leaving 50 Hoosiers without jobs effective Friday. The company tells Inside INdiana Business that it is not making any changes to the plans announced two months ago.
Columbus-based Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) has named Melina Kennedy vice president of product compliance and regulatory affairs. In the newly-created role, Kennedy will oversee engine emission certification, product compliance, and regulations related to Cummins products.