CAMBRIDGE — As the pressure to make health care more affordable mounts, Massachusetts biotech companies and medical device makers are warning that lower costs for consumers could be bad for business.
Companies and investors in the life sciences cluster — a crucial part of the state’s economy — say that new restrictions on payments for drugs and other medical products will stifle innovation and harm patients, according to a report scheduled to be released Thursday at a state biotechnology gathering.
The 115-page study, called Impact 2020, was prepared by Weston consulting firm Health Advances for the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, a trade group convening its two-day annual meeting in Cambridge. In some ways, it puts the industry at odds with what has become a paramount social cause: providing medical care for everyone at reasonable prices. But the companies say their products, though costly, save money in the long term by keeping people out of the hospital.
While the state has spent decades building one of the world’s largest biopharmaceutical sectors, the MassBio report says industry leaders will have to fight to preserve and expand it in the face of formidable challenges — including reduced reimbursements that the companies receive from the government and private insurers for treatments.
Such medicines frequently cost patients and insurers tens of thousands of dollars a year, but can take drug makers a decade and as much as a billion dollars to develop.
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