Drug Price Controls Could Cost Jobs in Key States

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Posted by Alex Hendrie on Thursday, September 17th, 2020, 12:58 PM PERMALINK

Price controls on prescription medicines proposed by President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) could have a significant negative economic impact on key states including Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and North Carolina.

President Trump recently signed a “most favored nation” executive order that adopts foreign, socialist price controls by tying the prices we pay for medicines to the artificially low prices set by other countries. In addition, Speaker Pelosi has proposed H.R. 3, legislation that would force manufacturers to accept government set prices on hundreds of medicines or face a 95 percent excise tax.

Ahead of the 2020 election, lawmakers should consider the impact such proposals would have on jobs and the economy.

Nationwide, the pharmaceutical industry directly or indirectly accounts for over four million jobs across the U.S, according to research by TEconomy Partners, LLC. This includes 800,000 direct jobs, 1.4 million indirect jobs, and 1.8 million induced jobs, which include retail and service jobs that are supported by spending from pharmaceutical workers and suppliers.

The average annual wage of a pharmaceutical employee in 2017 was $126,587, which is more than double the average private sector wage of $60,000.

These jobs support $1.1 trillion in total output, a significant contributor to the overall economy considering U.S. GDP at the end of 2017 was $19.7 trillion, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

In addition to threatening jobs and the economy, price controls could have significant political impacts. For instance, in Michigan and Pennsylvania, the number of pharmaceutical jobs exceed Trump’s margin of victory in 2016. In Florida and North Carolina, the total number of direct, indirect and induced jobs exceed Trump’s margin of victory.
 

State

2016 Trump margin of victory

Number of direct pharmaceutical jobs

Number of direct, indirect, and induced pharmaceutical jobs

Florida

112,911

25,757

130,903

Pennsylvania

44,292

46,830

253,876

Michigan

10,704

15,982

86,485

North Carolina

173,315

44,969

251,053

 

Economic and political impacts of price controls in Florida

  • Pharmaceutical manufacturers directly employ 25,757 workers in Florida. When accounting for direct, indirect, and induced jobs, manufacturers are responsible for an estimated 130,903 jobs. These jobs contribute an estimated $29 billion in economic impact per year.
     
  • In the 2016 presidential election, Florida was decided by a margin of 112,911 votes. Donald Trump won the state by 48.6 of the vote, receiving 4,617,886 votes to Hilary Clintons 4,504,975 votes.  
     
  • If all 25,757 workers directly employed by the pharmaceutical industry in Florida voted as a bloc, they could have had a significant impact on the outcome. If all 130,903 workers whose jobs were directly or indirectly related to the pharmaceutical industry as a bloc, they could have decided who won the state.

 

Economic and political impacts of price controls in Pennsylvania

  • Pharmaceutical manufacturers directly employ 46,830 workers in Pennsylvania. When accounting for direct, indirect, and induced jobs, manufacturers are responsible for an estimated 253,876 jobs. These jobs contribute an estimated $67 billion in economic impact per year.
     
  • In the 2016 presidential election, Pennsylvania was decided by a margin of 44,292 votes. Donald Trump won the state with 48.2 percent of the vote, receiving 2,970,733 votes to Hillary Clinton’s 2,926,441 votes. 
     
  • If all 46,830 workers directly employed by the pharmaceutical industry in Pennsylvania voted as a bloc, they could have decided who won the state.  If all 253,876 workers whose jobs were directly or indirectly tied to the pharmaceutical industry voted as a bloc, they would constitute a group five times the margin of victory. 

 

Economic and political impacts of price controls in Michigan

  • Pharmaceutical manufacturers directly employ 15,982 workers in Michigan. When accounting for direct, indirect, and induced jobs, manufacturers are responsible for an estimated 86,485 jobs. These jobs contribute an estimated $22 billion in economic impact per year.
     
  • In the 2016 presidential election, Michigan was decided by a margin of 10,704 votes. Donald Trump won the state with a 47.3 percent of the vote, receiving 2,279,543 votes to Hilary Clinton’s 2,268,839 votes. 
     
  • If all 15,982 workers directly employed by the pharmaceutical industry in Michigan voted as a bloc, they could have had decided who won the state. If all 86,495 workers whose jobs were directly or indirectly related to the pharmaceutical industry voted as a bloc, they would constitute a group eight times the margin of victory.   

 

Economic and political impacts of price controls in North Carolina

  • Pharmaceutical manufacturers directly employ 44,960 workers in North Carolina. When accounting for direct, indirect, and induced jobs, manufacturers are responsible for an estimated 251,053 jobs. These jobs contribute an estimated $74 billion in economic impact per year.
     
  • In the 2016 presidential election, North Carolina was decided by a margin of 173,315 votes. Donald Trump won the state with 49.8 percent of the vote, receiving 2,362,631 votes to Hilary Clinton’s 2,189,316 votes. 
     
  • If all 44,969 workers directly employed by the pharmaceutical industry in North Carolina voted as a bloc, they could have had a significant impact on the outcome. If all 251,053 workers whose jobs were directly or indirectly related to pharmaceutical industry as a bloc, they would make up a group about one and a half times the margin of victory.  

Photo Credit: Chris Potter

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