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December 22 2011

Hello ObamaCare—Bye Bye Medical Innovation

Carrie L. Lukas

Over at PJ Media, there is a sober, but startling dissection of how new ObamaCare protocols will impact medical innovation.

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, established by ObamaCare, is supposed to conduct "comparative effectiveness research" to give the medical community and patients information about best practice. That sounds all apple pie, and like a common-sense good thing, but in reality, it will have some pretty serious, negative unintended consequence, most particular discouraging investment in medical research.

Here's how Benjamin Zycher summed it up:

Recent research from the Pacific Research Institute examined the likely effects of these [comparative effectiveness research] implications for R&D investment in new and improved pharmaceuticals and devices and equipment. Using data from the National Science Foundation and other sources, R&D investment would be reduced by about $10 billion per year over the period 2014 through 2025, or about 10-12 percent. Based upon the scholarly literature on the benefits of medical innovation, this reduction in the advance of medical technology would impose an expected loss of about 5 million life-years annually, with a conservative economic value of $500 billion, an amount substantially greater than the entire U.S. market for pharmaceuticals and devices and equipment.

This adverse effect would be concentrated upon technological advances likely to serve the needs of smaller subgroups within the overall patient population, upon riskier investments among new treatments, and upon drugs and equipment expected to prove relatively less profitable.

It only makes sense that new government-imposed barriers to bringing medical technologies to market will discourage investment. Zycher also hints at the possibility that many determinations made by these government bureaucrats won't be driven by science, but also interest group politics.

Those on the Left have long demonized “big Pharma” as an evil-corporate interest... but growing government's control of the health care market will only make sure that the process is even more corrupt and the process more rigged in favor of big, or at least politically well-connected, companies over small ones. 

We will all end up paying a big price.



Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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