Last night’s State of the Union address was a festival of cognitive dissonance.
President Biden proudly lauded the price controls that Democrats have begun implementing on prescription drugs as part of last August’s Inflation Reduction Act. He also touted his administration’s Cancer Moonshot, which aims to halve the cancer death rate over the next 25 years.
These policies are in direct conflict with one another. Pharmaceutical companies are already responding to the IRA’s looming price controls by scaling back their research and development efforts. As a result, there will almost certainly be fewer new treatments for cancer—and other illnesses—in the years to come than there would have been without the IRA.
The law grants Medicare the power to essentially set the prices of 10 brand-name medications starting in 2026, another 15 in 2027, another 15 in 2028, and another 20 in 2029 and each year that follows.