Kelly Anderson Kelly Anderson
Executive Director, Health and Drug Policy, Global Innovation Policy Center


March 21, 2023


There’s no question that countries with smart public policy frameworks drive critical medical innovation.  

Existing research, like the U.S. Chamber International IP Index, has proven that countries with effective intellectual property (IP) infrastructure experience greater innovative output and better access to resulting innovations, like vaccines and therapeutics. But how can we demonstrate the impact of bad policy decisions? Look no further than the U.S. Chamber’s new Patient Access Report

Data dive: This new report examines the national biopharmaceutical market for nine Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) economies and assesses the impact of their policies on access to innovative medicines. The research shows how imposing price controls and similar policies deters future innovation and access. 

Relevant and timely: Most OECD economies widely use strict price controls. Before the recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the U.S. was the sole OECD economy that did not impose direct national price controls.  

What does that mean for me? Trouble, to put it simply. Countries that use price controls experience serious consequences that affect their citizens, such as: 

  • Fewer biopharmaceutical product launches: The lowest-performing economies in the study, Canada, Japan, South Korea, and Australia, have seen significantly fewer biopharmaceutical product launches than the United States over the past 20 years. 
  • Fewer biologics: Countries with the most severe cost containment policies, like South Korea and Australia, have seen fewer than half of new biologics launched compared to other countries over the past 20 years. Additionally, only 49% of new biologics launched in the U.S. over the last 20 years were available in South Korea, while only 38% were available in Australia. 
  • Delayed access to treatments: In Germany, whose overall score was 63.94%, patients wait an average of 133 days to access new treatments. 

A wake-up call: It’s clear that price controls and containment measures harm biopharmaceutical innovation and patient access. So why isn’t the U.S. government abandoning such efforts included in the IRA?  

Our take: U.S. government officials must consider the implications of price controls on patients before implementing the proposed IRA framework. Implementing the IRA will undermine the ecosystem that empowered the U.S. to become one of the most innovative countries in the world, not to mention the damage the pipeline of new medical breakthroughs developed, introduced, and available in our country.  

So, tell our leaders: Follow the data and reconsider price controls in the IRA.

About the authors

Kelly Anderson

Kelly Anderson

Kelly Anderson is the Chamber's Senior Director of Health and Drug Policy at the Global Innovation Policy Center.

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