New Op-Ed from Institute for Policy Innovation Resident Scholar Merrill Matthews: Blame Washington for Drug Shortages

Merrill Matthews, a resident scholar with the Institute for Policy Innovation, recently published an opinion piece in RealClearHealth calling attention to the numerous attacks on intellectual property that are exacerbating ongoing shortages of prescription medicines.

More than 300 drugs are currently in shortage, including 15 cancer drugs, due to falling profit margins in the drug industry that are causing companies to pull out of the market. This problem could soon get even worse if policymakers succeed in their numerous efforts to weaken intellectual property rights. The Biden administration’s proposed new framework for march-in rights under the Bayh-Dole Act, the proposed WTO patent waiver for Covid-19 treatments, and price controls under the Inflation Reduction Act are just some of the policies that threaten the IP-based market incentives for drug innovation.

As Matthews explains, “[P]olicymakers keep working to undermine the intellectual property protections and profit motive that drive drug development. Unless that changes, patients should expect more shortages in the years to come, and Washington will be the one to blame.”

Read the full op-ed here:

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