Hundreds of lifesaving therapies will never be invented, and as many as 1.1 million jobs will be lost if Senate Democrats successfully expand their prescription drug price-fixing program, according to a major new study.
The study, conducted by the research group Vital Transformation, modeled the effects of the SMART Prices Act. Sponsored by 28 Democratic senators including Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Peter Welch, D-Vt., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., the bill would expand the price-control scheme approved last year for certain drugs under Medicare as part of the Inflation Reduction Act.
The IRA allows the government to implement price controls on chemically synthesized small-molecule drugs nine years after they receive regulatory approval and on biologics 13 years after approval. In 2026, 10 prescription drugs dispensed through Medicare’s Part D drug benefit would be subject to the price controls. An additional 15 would be ensnared in 2027. Another 15 dispensed in doctor’s offices through Medicare Part B or through the prescription benefit Part D would come up for price controls in 2028. And another 20 across both programs would be hit in 2029.