More Cures for More Patients: Overcoming Pharmaceutical Barriers

February 05, 2020

Testimony
Testimony by CFR fellows and experts before Congress.

Mr. Setser's testimony focuses on three points:

1. America currently has a large and growing trade deficit in pharmaceutical products.

More on:

Trade

Pharmaceuticals and Vaccines

Fiscal Policy

2. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created new incentives for the offshoring of pharmaceutical production and other high technology manufacturing jobs. As I will discuss later, the biggest sources of pharmaceutical imports are not countries known for low wages, but rather countries known for their high tolerance of transfer pricing games and generous tax treatment of multinational firms.

3. The Tax Cut and Jobs Act provided a large windfall to the shareholders of pharmaceutical firms who had shifted their profits and often production abroad to reduce their U.S. tax burden—but it hasn’t generated lower prices for American consumers or a significant increase in investment in pharmaceutical research and development. The work of the Ways and Means committee staff1 has illustrated that Americans pay by far the world’s highest prices for drugs. Yet today, Americans are getting far too little back from our biggest pharmaceutical companies.

More on:

Trade

Pharmaceuticals and Vaccines

Fiscal Policy

Top Stories on CFR

Middle East and North Africa

Hezbollah and its allies suffered serious losses in May’s parliamentary elections, and a divided Parliament will likely struggle to agree on a path out of Lebanon’s current crisis.

Middle East and North Africa

Turkey’s geography and membership in NATO have long given the country an influential voice in foreign policy, but the assertive policies of President Erdogan have complicated its role.

Religion

For the past two thousand years, the pope has been a major player in global affairs. He is frequently called upon to act as a peace broker, a mediator, an advocate, and an influencer; and with over 1.3 billion followers around the world, the pope and his governmental arm, the Holy See, have the power to shape the future. How has the pope's power changed over time, and what is his role today?