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Cost containment could hurt consumers – Pacific Research Institute

Cost containment could hurt consumers

In a recent debate, state representative candidate Kate Jackson endorsed the recently passed “Act to Promote Cost Containment, Transparency, and Efficiency in the Delivery of Health Care,” promising that she will work to see that legislation succeed. (“Democratic hopefuls spar in Attleboro debate,” Sept. 11).

This is unfortunate. The cost-containment bill could harm patients waiting for new cures.

Under the bill, all physicians, scientists, and academic researchers who receive $50 or more from biopharmaceutical firms will have their names posted on the Internet.

While transparency is generally good, this suggests that there’s something wrong with these associations – even though the payments are neither illegal nor unethical.

According to the National Institutes of Health, there are nearly 6,000 clinical trials being conducted in Massachusetts right now. How many of the doctors already involved in trials might drop out, deciding that the unwanted public attention isn’t worth it?

And how many of the physicians and academic scientists residing here might decide that the Bay State’s research climate is too hostile?

Biopharmaceutical companies are in the business of developing life-saving and life-enhancing medicines – and they depend on the expertise of physicians and academic scientists. This legislation unwisely cuts into that relationship.

Sally C. Pipes
San Francisco

THIS WRITER is president and CEO, Pacific Research Institute.

Nothing contained in this blog is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the Pacific Research Institute or as an attempt to thwart or aid the passage of any legislation.

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