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‘Drug Affordability Board’ would not serve New Jersey well

Typing Letter to the Editor for the Opinion page.

If the COVID-19 pandemic has made anything clear, it is that when government embraces and incentivizes private enterprise, our potential as a nation is unlimited.

New Jersey is fortunate to have many pharmaceutical companies headquartered here and that has been an economic boom to this state for decades.

The problem we are facing as a nation, and not just in New Jersey, is the rising cost of medicine and drugs in particular.

The drug companies argue that they spend billions of dollars in research and development to bring a drug to market and therefore they have to recoup these costs in the ultimate pricing of the drug.

Trenton’s response to this nationwide problem is to introduce legislation that would create a “Drug Affordability Board,” a bureaucratic board that would have the power to dictate drug pricing.

That would essentially give a group of political appointees the power to regulate a nationally strategic industry that calls New Jersey its home.

If this board acts in a unilateral manner that prevents these companies from bringing a drug to market because of price controls, this could lead to a mass exodus of this vital industry to a more friendly environment.

Government must work with private enterprise and not seek to impose price controls that have been proven time and again to stifle growth and innovation. Trenton should be doing everything possible to keep this nationally strategic industry here in New Jersey.

A “Drug Affordability Board” which is essentially a price control board is not the solution. Like Project Warp Speed, government needs to work together with industry.

By working together, perhaps our New Jersey Legislature can come up with government incentives that would lead to more favorable drug prices and a competitive environment.

Rhoda Chodosh

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