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Democracy & Technology Blog Price controls destroyed European pharmaceutical innovation

Eli Lilly CEO Sidney Taurel’s observation about the effects of price controls in the pharmaceutical industry in a recent Wall Street Journal interview is worth remembering.

I’ve seen the bad effects that government policies of price controls and overregulation can have. When you look at Europe 30 years ago, that was where most of the innovation in pharmaceuticals used to take place. When I joined the industry the No. 1 was Roche and then it was Hoechst and Bayer and all these companies, which today are not as big. What 30 years of price controls have done is more and more of the research has come here. I think only about 25% of the total research in the whole industry is done in Europe.

Hance Haney

Director and Senior Fellow of the Technology & Democracy Project
Hance Haney served as Director and Senior Fellow of the Technology & Democracy Project at the Discovery Institute, in Washington, D.C. Haney spent ten years as an aide to former Senator Bob Packwood (OR), and advised him in his capacity as chairman of the Senate Communications Subcommittee during the deliberations leading to the Telecommunications Act of 1996. He subsequently held various positions with the United States Telecom Association and Qwest Communications. He earned a B.A. in history from Willamette University and a J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon.