The Historical Impact of Price Controls on the Biopharma Industry

With US congressional proposals now advocating in favor of government price setting for prescription medicines, the impacts of historical price setting in Europe provides a robust data source to test and predict the impact of price controls in the US on the biopharma ecosystem.

• This study uses statistical and economic modeling to calculate the net impact of EU price controls upon the domestic biopharma ecosystem in Europe; US and EU prices were compared for the top 10 selling drugs in the US for each year from 2003 – 2020*, and impacts upon biopharma R&D ecosystem key performance indicators (KPIs) were measured.

• Our research shows that every 10% drop in the price of medicines in price-controlled EU markets was associated with a:
-> 14% decrease in total VC funding (10% early stage and 17% late state)
-> 7% decrease in biotech patents,
-> 9% decrease in biotech start-up funding relative to the US
-> an 8% increase in the delay of access to medicines.

• Our model also proved robust at predicting the trend impacts of drug pricing on Japanese biopharma KPIs, which acts as a validation of our methodology; we posit that similar drops measured by biopharma KPIs in the US would be seen over time with similar price controls.

• Drug pricing controls implemented in the US would likely have an even greater impact on biopharma KPIs given its global leadership in investment and innovation.