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The Drug Provisions of The Inflation Reduction Act are Far from Harmless

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Tomas J. Philipson, PhD, is the Daniel Levin Professor of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and directs the Becker Friedman Institute’s Program on Foundational Research in Health Care Markets and Policies within the Health Economics Initiative. He is also an associate member of the Department of Economics and a former senior lecturer at the Law School and visiting faculty member at Yale University. His research focuses on health economics.

Supporters of the Inflation Reduction Act are applauding its drug pricing measures, claiming they will help average Americans get a handle on rising healthcare expenses. But at what cost in terms of health impact?

Together with my colleagues at the University of Chicago, I have found that the existing evidence implies that lowered R&D incentives resulting from the IRA will reduce lifespans by an amount 30 times higher than COVID mortality effects to date.

This calculation is substantially at odds with other assessments, including a recent and influential one by Avik Roy and Gregg Girvan published in the Washington Post. While I often agree with their work, they have misstated the effects in this case.

The full article can be found in RealClear Health.

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