All Posts By

Robyn Boerstling

Price Controls Harm Innovation and Interfere with Competitive Markets

By | Innovation, intellectual property, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Some members of the Oregon legislature continue to propose unwieldy requirements and burdensome rebates on manufacturers of pharmaceuticals in an effort to cap drug prices. These efforts will not “control” the price of drugs for consumers, but will instead create scenarios that will likely limit choice, restrict supply and increase costs. Moreover, price controls discourage innovation and act as a disincentive for robust research and development efforts.

While rising health care costs are a significant concern for Americans, there are very few examples in history where price controls have worked for a full segment of the population. Artificially setting prices does not take into account all of the costs and factors that go into creating a new product, such as numerous failed clinical trials or drugs whose revenue fail to cover development costs. Price controls distort incentives in the market and result in product shortages, which could ultimately increase future health care costs.

Lawmakers must carefully consider the negative impacts of imposing price controls and diminishing any intellectual property protections. Attempts to jeopardize all of the investment and years of work associated with the creation of new medicines and products will discourage R&D and innovation – all at the expense of manufacturers’ competitiveness and the future wellbeing of patients. As the legislative session winds down in Salem, we urge elected officials to be mindful of these adverse impacts.

Protect Innovation and the Advancement of New Medicines

By | Innovation, intellectual property, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Today, the House Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee will mark up the FDA Reauthorization Act (FDARA) of 2017 (H.R. 2430). To ensure this critical legislation passes Congress far ahead of a September 30 deadline, manufacturers urge swift action by the committee to keep H.R. 2430 on schedule. Any delay of the FDARA risks future gains in medical discovery and harm to our global standing.

In a March letter to E&C Health Subcommittee members, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) expressed strong support for a timely reauthorization of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act of 2017.

The FDA’s user fee program is the ultimate publicprivate partnership. If approved, this agreement will help the federal government and pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers continue to drive innovation and usher in competition to bring new and groundbreaking therapies to patients.

Manufacturers urge members of the E&C Committee to support FDARA and avoid any needless risk to public health by opposing drug importation amendments.  Any amendment that eases restrictions on the importation of medicines is a distraction. The NAM opposed a similar importation effort in the Senate earlier this year in a key vote letter because it could expose consumers to counterfeit and adulterated therapies. The focus must be on the advancement of new medicines and treatments as well as unambiguous support for scientific innovation by ensuring the FDARA moves forward unimpeded.

Yes, Indiana Has a Port System

By | Infrastructure, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

From the crossroads of America, Indiana Ports and the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) hosted an important session with manufacturers, truckers, engineering firms and thought leaders as well as state and local officials about maximizing infrastructure investments and strategically positioning and advocating infrastructure in ongoing national debates.

Indiana is a top manufacturing state in the nation representing the highest manufacturing employment in the United States17 percent of the Hoosier workforce. With manufacturing well represented in Indiana’s economic footprint, investment in roads, rails, Burns Harbor on Lake Michigan and two inland ports on the Ohio River could not be more important. Fifty-seven percent of the state’s border is water.

Due to complex supply chains of manufacturers and just-in-time inventory principles, leading manufacturers like ArcelorMittal and Subaru of Indiana need Indiana infrastructure to perform and to perform second to none. The good news is that the state has made significant investments, raised revenues and supported projects that the business community needs to keep competitive. It has a vibrant supply of rail, trucking and waterway services. But these sectors do not operate in isolation.

The challenge, however, remains projects of regional and national significance that make a system-wide impact on the movement of critical materials and goods throughout the country and world. In Indianapolis, roundtable participants raised the genuine concern about the long-term condition of the Soo Lock System and especially the Poe Lock in Michigan. The current Poe Lock was built in 1969 and is at risk of failure. It handles more than 90 percent of U.S.-flag vessel cargo passing between Lake Superior and the lower Great Lakes, including more than 40 million tons of iron ore and coal destined for steel mills.

The status quo of the Poe Lock and the aging locks on the inland waterway system is a threat to manufacturing because a catastrophic failure will harm the economy and jobs. According to a 2015 U.S. Department of Homeland Security report, an unanticipated six-month closure of the Poe Lock would likely result in widespread bankruptcies and dislocations throughout the economy. More than 10 million people in the United States and 2 million to 5 million more in Canada and Mexico would lose their jobs. North American economies would enter a severe recession. The U.S. recession impacts would be concentrated in the Great Lakes region, though California and Texas would experience some of the largest job losses. Entire manufacturing industries would be debilitated, including automobiles; appliances; construction, farming and mining equipment; and railcars and locomotives.

Indiana and others states are competing against industrial behemoths like China, Japan and Germany. Competition between states will always be around, but the focus on edging out the international competition is even more acute. These competitors do not even think twice about robustly investing in infrastructure to support industry. Productivity growth in the United States is central to expanding the U.S. economy, and while it’s bigger than one industry or one state, more efficient transportation and infrastructure systems are necessary to create an environment that fosters increased productivity. The Infrastructure Week message to the president, House of Representatives and the Senate: #TimeToBuild is vital now. The NAM has produced an infrastructure toolkit to provide manufacturers the resources to amplify this Infrastructure Week message.

Ill-Conceived Drug Pricing Proposal Targets One Disease—Offering No Guarantees, Only Complications

By | Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

More than 30 million Americans suffer from diabetes—one of several chronic medical conditions accounting for an overall increased demand for health services as well as increased costs for medical care. Unfortunately, the solutions to chronic conditions are complex, and there is no one simple solution. New innovative treatments and advanced therapies as well as a faster route for generics to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration offer some hope. And coupled with aggressive prevention and wellness practices, there can be additional improvements that include controlled costs and improved outcomes. Read More

Keep Innovation Alive and Safe

By | Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Today, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions marks up the Food and Drug Administration Reauthorization Act (S. 934). In a March letter to committee leaders, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) expressed its strong support for a swift and timely reauthorization of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) user-fee agreements covering prescription drugs, medical devices, biosimilars and generic drugs. Manufacturers urge the committee to maintain its momentum so that S. 934 can stay on schedule, ahead of a September 30 deadline. Any delay of the FDA Reauthorization Act risks future gains in medical discovery and harm to our global standing. Read More

Manufacturers Eager for Congress to Eliminate Health Care Taxes and Support Today’s Vote

By | Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

As Congress seeks to pass the American Health Care Act (H.R. 1628) today, this legislative vehicle remains to be the primary remedy to address the onerous mandates and taxes associated with Obamacare. Unfortunately, some in the media are making ill-informed assumptions about how this legislation will impact employer-sponsored coverage.  Read More

Manufacturers Need Policymakers to Advance Infrastructure; It’s Time for Real Solutions

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Manufacturers appreciate President Donald Trump’s commitment to deliver an infrastructure proposal in two to three weeks and his consideration of a range of funding sources, from tax credits to the gas tax. We could not agree more that there is no one solution to fund a significant $1 trillion infrastructure investment, and it is time to be bold and meaningful. Moreover, it’s time for Congress and the administration to unify under a “Building to Win” strategy as outlined by the National Association of Manufacturers. Read More

Keep Louisiana Open for Business, Protect Innovation

By | Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

From petrochemicals to metals and even world-class food products that consumers around the world enjoy, Louisiana manufacturers with a special process or “secret sauce” make up the core of the state’s innovators. Manufacturers, in particular, account for more than three-quarters of all private-sector research and development (R&D) in the United States. R&D is critical to their success and the countless other Louisiana enterprises that rely on them. And in an extremely competitive global economy, if a company isn’t innovating, it’s falling behind. Read More