Health care costs in the U.S. are some 18 percent of GNP, nearly double what other rich countries spend. We read of drug therapies that cost $100,000 a year or more, and of drug price increases that are 6 times the rate of inflation, on average, and often much more when mergers reduce competition in the industry. Is this a major driver of excessive health care costs? Or is it a by-product of the huge costs of getting new drugs approved? Has big pharma delivered drugs that reduce the need for costly surgeries, which extend life and improve its quality? Or do they deserve the blame that has been leveled against them?
This debate is presented In Partnership with the Adam Smith Society, a project of the Manhattan Institute. The Adam Smith Society is a nationwide, chapter-based association of MBA students and business leaders who work to promote on campus debate and discussion about the moral, social, and economic benefits of capitalism. IQ2US health care debates are also generously supported by Thomas Campbell Jackson.
Ezekiel J. Emanuel
Ezekiel Emanuel is vice provost for global initiatives and chair of the Medical Ethics and Health Policy Department at the University of Pennsylvania. He has served as special advisor for health policy to the director of the Office of Management and Budget in the White House and is the former chair of the Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health. He has written or edited nine books and over 200 scientific articles and is a columnist for The New York Times.
Paul Howard is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, director of health policy, and a member of Project FDA, an MI initiative. He is a contributor to The Apothecary, the Forbes blog on health care policy and entitlement reform, and a regular columnist for The Morning Consult. Howard has written on a wide variety of medical-policy issues, including FDA reform, biopharmaceutical innovation, consumer-driven health care, and Medicare and Medicaid reform. He is a co-author of the forthcoming book, Unlocking Precision Medicine (Encounter Books, 2016). He is often quoted on health care issues, and his work has appeared in such publications as Bloomberg View, Wall Street Journal, National Affairs, USA Today, RealClearPolitics, New York Post, Investor’s Business Daily, Health Affairs, and FoxNews.com. He joined MI in 2000, as deputy director of its Center for Legal Policy, where he edited research papers, managed legal policy analyses, and organized conferences.
Lori M. Reilly is executive vice president for policy, research and membership at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). Reilly heads PhRMA’s policy and research department in the development and implementation of legislative, regulatory, and political strategies to successfully navigate the ever-changing federal health care landscape, working to advance policies that encourage medical progress and patient access to the fruits of pharmaceutical innovation. In her membership role, Reilly leads the association’s efforts to grow the depth and breadth of innovative pharmaceutical company membership and engagement. Prior to joining PhRMA, she was counsel at the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Commerce. And before joining the House Commerce Committee, Reilly was chief of staff/counsel to Rep. Jon Christensen, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.
Neera Tanden is the President of the Center for American Progress and Counselor to the Center for American Progress Action Fund. She has served in both the Obama and Clinton administrations, as well as presidential campaigns and think tanks. Most recently, she served as the Chief Operating Officer for the Center, where she oversaw strategic planning, operations, and fundraising.
The Volley Round of this Intelligence Squared Debate, Blame Big Pharma for Out-of-Control Healthcare Costs, allows each side the formal opportunity to put a challenge or a question to the other side, showing why they're wrong.