Prescription drug pricing has been a recent topic of media scrutiny, and is said to be the reason for the high cost of healthcare in the United States. The result has been an encroachment of new legislative and regulatory proposals that either seek to restrict the price of prescription drugs or impose strict new reporting requirements on drug manufacturers. When considering new regulatory oversight, we must examine the impact these policies will have on the biopharmaceutical industry and the future of healthcare in the U.S.
The U.S. biopharmaceutical industry is a global leader in the development of new treatments and cures for disease. No other enterprise reinvests more revenue into research and development (R&D), or has made more advances in medical science, including investment made by both the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and all medical research universities combined. However, there are great challenges associated with the business of cures. On average, it takes 10 years to develop a new prescription medicine, which includes the six to seven year clinical trial process required for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. Only 12% of medicines in the development pipeline will ever reach the market, as the majority of new medicines in development fail. Despite this, scientists turn knowledge gained from failures into research findings, which lead to new breakthroughs in prescription drug treatments and cures.