Biotech Supporters Say Drug Imports Will Hurt

Michigan has much to lose if the federal government allows importation of drugs. This conclusion is drawn from MichBio, a trade group for biotechnology and life-sciences enterprises in the state. The study projects the impact of federal drug importation over 10 years and foresees several possible long-term consequences, including:

  • decreased total investments in Michigan pharmaceutical and biomedical research and development due to lower expected global profitability.
  • reduced direct and indirect pharmaceutical and biotech jobs in Michigan due to changes in the overall scale of industry investments and possible relocation or consolidation decisions.
  • decreased availability of U.S.-discovered medicines around the world as a result of company decisions to limit launches of new medicines in international markets;
  • Diminished patient health benefits as a result of reduced future availability of new medicines from an overall reduction in R&D.
"Prescription drug importation could mean substantial job loss in Michigan and significant reduction in personal net income over the next decade," says Dean G. Smith, chair of the Department of Health Management and Policy, School Public Health, University of Michigan and author of the study. "An estimated 20,000 to 133,000 jobs and anywhere from $6 billion to $35 billion in personal net income could be lost in Michigan depending on what form of importation is adopted."
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