Rx Importation Would Cut Jobs, R&D
Legalizing drug importation would eliminate hundreds of U.S. biopharmaceutical jobs and lead to dramatic reductions in R&D investment, according to a new study that examines the effects of Rx importation on Maryland's economy.
The state would lose 867 jobs, including 501 jobs in high-paying research positions, by 2010 if drug importation policies are adopted, asserts the study by the Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI), a free-market think tank. Importation also would result in a cumulative loss of $45.5 million to the state's economy, IPI added.
"While these figures are not large relative to the entire Maryland economy, it is significant in the nascent commercial bioscience industries, which Maryland is taking such pains to promote," notes the study, which was prepared for IPI by the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University in Boston.
"Reimportation is a safety issue, but it is also a jobs issue," said Merrill Matthews, an IPI resident scholar. "The biotech and pharmaceutical industries are a 'brain gain' for the U.S., creating good jobs in local communities across the country."
Biotech jobs would be threatened by the resulting decrease in R&D investment under drug importation, which Matthews says is another form of price control. Critics often contend drug companies could lower prices and continue to fund the current level of R&D spending, but these critics misunderstand the relationship between R&D spending and prescription drug prices, the study says.
To view a copy of IPI's report, "Drug Importation and R&D Spending: The Economic Impact on Maryland's Economy," go to http://www.ipi.org (http://www.ipi.org).