News Feature | January 31, 2014

Less Innovation Under Obamacare?

Source: Pharmaceutical Online

By Marcus Johnson

The healthcare industry, along with pharmaceutical leaders, believe that President Obama’s crowning legislation will affect industry research and innovation, eventually leaving Americans without innovative care. Many believe that there will be mounting pressure for insurers to choose low priced solutions to treatment problems instead of higher priced solutions that might be more effective. Regulatory pressures often aim to keep costs low—not to find the best solutions to many of America’s growing healthcare problems. It’s an issue that many have been raising with the President’s legislation, and one that is not going away anytime soon.

The President and CEO of Organogenesis commented at a recent Massachusetts Biotechnology Council event, “Nobody in this room, I don’t think, is against evolving­ our model and making it more efficient. But the path to get there is going to lead to very, very bad consequences if we’re not careful,” said Geoff MacKay. “The cost to get (a new treatment) approved is significantly higher from a regulatory point of view, and if you invest the time and the money and take the risk, if there’s a precarious reimbursement setting, the whole equation is in jeopardy. Innovation is in jeopardy.”

MacKay believes this impact on innovation will cost the drug industry jobs in the long run. The state of Massachusetts has lagged in employment growth in the past several years. It remains to be seen if future legislation in the Affordable Care Act could help create economic incentives that drug companies need to develop new drugs and health solutions.