top of page

Mary R. Grealy On The Small Molecule Penalty, U.S. Dominance In Life Sciences, And More

Incubate Executive Director John Stanford sat down this week with Mary R. Grealy, CEO of the Healthcare Leadership Council, to discuss the latest developments in health policy on the Making Medicine podcast.

 

Incubate Executive Director John Stanford sat down this week with Mary R. Grealy, CEO of the Healthcare Leadership Council, to discuss the latest developments in health policy on the Making Medicine podcast.


During the conversation, Grealy described some of the issues the HLC is currently focusing on, ranging from pandemic preparedness to the role of technology in the healthcare system.


To push for progress on these issues, the HLC brings together stakeholders from across the healthcare industry. Though these entities wouldn’t normally collaborate, they’re all united by a common goal to improve affordability, accessibility, and quality across the health system.


Unfortunately, Grealy explained, that goal is under threat from the federal government’s drug price controls.


For Grealy, the “small molecule penalty” is of greatest concern. The law currently provides biologics 13 years of protection from price controls, while small-molecule drugs get only nine. The inequity essentially penalizes the development of small-molecule medicines that could treat a host of diseases.


One of them is cancer. Grealy pointed out that President Biden is relying on new treatments to realize the goals of his Cancer Moonshot initiative, which aims to cut cancer deaths in half by 2047. Yet the small molecule penalty disincentivizes the research and development of promising cancer medicines, thereby undermining the goals of the Moonshot.


“Long-term growth and innovation should not take a back seat to short-term political concerns,” Grealy said. “It’s a real challenge, but we have to confront it.”


Grealy also spoke about how Medicare’s new power to effectively control drug prices will impact the economy and U.S. global leadership. A Vital Transformation study estimates up to 676,000 indirect biopharma job losses. That will put us behind China and India, which are actively working to bolster their own life science sectors.


Finally, Grealy reflected that our system of private-sector-led research and development works well and all but guarantees Americans access to the latest drugs — a luxury not afforded in many other countries. She urged lawmakers not to double down and enact more severe price controls.


To hear John and Mary’s full conversation, be sure to check out the latest episode of our Making Medicine podcast on our website, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Google Podcasts!

0 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page