Deroy Murdock: Democrats plot War on New Drugs with $3.5T spending bill

Dems push for $3.5 trillion spending bill increasing inflation fears

Fox News congressional correspondent Chad Pergram reports on the latest response from both parties.

Total Democratic Party control of Washington has yielded, for starters: An Afghan meltdown, bedlam on the “border,” a bloody crime surge, energy woes, mounting inflation, and racial tension. 

Next stop: Your medicine chest. 

Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and Bernie Sanders’ $3.5 trillion spending orgy includes a poison pill — almost literally. 

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that H.R. 3 (AKA the Lower Drug Costs Now Act) would help “pay for” this fiscal incontinence by squeezing $581.6 billion from the pharmaceutical industry over the next 10 years. 

More than just a simple tax on “evil, drug companies,” this measure would blackmail this sector, chop into its bottom line, and torpedo research and development into future therapies. Down the road, this means more ailments and earlier deaths for everyday Americans. In other words, just another day at the office for Democrats. 

H.R. 3 would force pharmaceutical manufacturers to haggle over prices with federal functionaries. But this is not the bargaining between buyers and sellers that occurs daily across America. H.R. 3 defines “negotiation” as Washington bureaucrats dictating an amount that they feel like paying for a drug, based on overseas price controls mandated via socialized medicine. Those fixed prices would regulate all sales – to Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurers. 

And what if a drug company resists this new policy? That’s when federal extortion kicks in. 

Pharmaceutical firms that will not swallow Uncle Sam’s prices would face taxes on gross revenues (not net profits) that start at 65 percent. But that tribute rises every 90 days that any such enterprise refuses to be bludgeoned. Ultimately, as Biden said at the White House on August 12: “It means drug companies would have to sell their drugs to all distributors at the Medicare price or face up to a 95 percent excise tax.” 

So, what? If pharmaceutical CEOs must postpone their new yacht purchases or buy slightly smaller ski chalets, they will survive. 

If only the world were so cartoonishly simple. 

Punching the drug industry in the mouth gives regular patients bloody lips. If H.R. 3 slices drug companies’ incomes, they will have less money to create new and better drugs. 

“The proposals that we’re seeing from Congress will devastate this industry,” said Merck chairman Kenneth Frazier. “The most difficult disease states, the most risky, the most expensive projects will be at risk,” Frazier added. “The hundreds and thousands of small biotechs that rely on venture capital investments from big pharmaceutical companies will just disappear.” 

Among other innovations, pharmaceutical companies have created drugs such as Avastin and Gleevec that — for many — have transformed cancer from a death sentence into a temporary headache. Descovy and Truvada are, essentially, AIDS-vaccine pills. And President Donald J. Trump’s Operation Warp Speed inspired Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson to deliver COVID-19 inoculations in a record 12 months. 

The cure-crushing H.R. 3 is how Democrats say thank you for these miracles and threaten unseen breakthroughs. 

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