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ICYMI: A World Without Cures

Ahead of the President’s Announcement, a Word of Caution from Manufacturers on Government-Driven “Solutions” on Drug Prices

Excerpts from the Washington Examiner

By: NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons

May 11, 2018

“Manufacturers have long supported efforts to reduce America’s healthcare costs. And with 98 percent of manufacturers offering health benefits to their employees, we are as sensitive as anyone to the rising costs of care …

“With the Trump administration seeking ideas on how to reduce the cost of prescription drugs to consumers, we should be careful to avoid any ‘solution’ that would lead to more government intervention into our healthcare.

“In academia, the halls of Congress and state capitals, some have suggested imposing new top-down regulations or pricing rules on the companies that manufacture medicines and vaccines. Such nonmarket-based approaches sound simple and hopeful, but as is so often the case when the government applies its heavy hand, more losers than winners are likely to emerge.

“The sickest and most vulnerable Americans stand to be the hardest hit …

“Pharmaceutical manufacturers spend more on R&D than any other industry. They also put a sizeable share of their revenue back into R&D so that today’s treatments can help fund tomorrow’s cures. We are in a period of tremendous breakthroughs and medical discovery led by pharmaceutical manufacturers in partnership with the National Institutes of Health, universities and other private groups …

“Just imagine if we had never developed vaccines for smallpox, polio or tuberculosis. Picture a world with no treatments for cancer, heart disease, HIV or diabetes …

“Reducing healthcare costs requires a comprehensive approach to the various forces that strain the system. Rigid price controls or intrusive regulations in the name of ‘transparency’ will not solve the larger problem. Nor will drug importation, which could put patients at risk by exposing them to drugs that do not meet high U.S. safety standards …

“Stifling critical research and threatening America’s foundational free market principles are not the cure. The last thing we should do is sacrifice something we do well—the development of lifesaving medicines—because of good intentions gone wrong.”


The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12 million men and women, contributes $2.25 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the Manufacturers or to follow us on Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit

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