The Great American Drug Deal: A New Prescription for Innovative and Affordable Medicines

November 1, 2020
The Great American Drug Deal: A New Prescription for Innovative and Affordable Medicines

Developing life-changing drugs is risky and expensive--butthat's not what makes them unaffordable.Drug pricing is a staple of every news cycle and politicaldebate. And while we've struggled for decades to agree on solutionsthat serve all patients without jeopardizing the invention of newmedicines, many Americans suffer because they can't afford thedrugs they need.Do we really have to choose between affordability andinnovation?In The Great American Drug Deal, scientist and industry expertPeter Kolchinsky answers this question with a decisive No. Thepharmaceutical industry's commitment to creating new lifesavingdrugs destined to become inexpensive generics can be balanced bythe healthcare system's commitment to making those drugs affordablefor all patients--a Biotech Social Contract. Through deep researchand compelling stories of breakthroughs and breakdowns, Kolchinskypresents solutions for striking a balance that are bold yetrealistic and tackle today's most pressing questions,including:Why doesn't insurance make drugs affordable?How can we prevent price-jacking of older drugs?Why are drugs more expensive in America than elsewhere?How can we guarantee that all medicines eventually go generic sothey are only temporarily expensive?What systemic failures led to the opioid crisis, and how can weprevent the next one?The Great American Drug Deal offers clear-eyed scrutiny of allplayers in the industry and examines vital ideas for closingloopholes, encouraging investment, dealing with bad actors, andeducating consumers. It's time we resolve to support patients andfuel discoveries that ease suffering now and for generations tocome.