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NTU Urges NY Legislators to Oppose Price Controls

by Pete Sepp / /

Honorable Carl E. Heastie
Speaker, NYS Assembly
Legislative Office Building
Room 932
Albany, NY 12248
Honorable John J. Flanagan
Majority Leader, NYS Senate
State Capitol Building
Room 330
Albany, NY 12247
Honorable Jeffrey D. Klein
Senate Coalition Leader
Legislative Office Building
Room 913
Albany, NY 12247

Dear Speaker Heastie, Majority Leader Flanagan, and Coalition Leader Klein:

On behalf of National Taxpayers Union’s (NTU) thousands of members and supporters across New York, I urge you to strongly oppose a new regulatory scheme included in Governor Cuomo’s 2016-2017 budget that has precedent-setting disclosure requirements and price controls for the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Just like the onerous tax policies NTU works to reform, burdensome government mandates on businesses can drive up compliance costs, deter economic development, and in turn affect the finances of families across the state.

The disclosure powers contained in the Governor’s proposal would essentially allow the government to micromanage the basic business decisions of private companies.  New York State will be able to dictate which drug prices within Medicaid should be reviewed.  Biotech and pharmaceutical firms will be required to report their average and projected profit margin, research and development costs, administrative and marketing costs, prices charged to purchasers, average rebates and discounts provided, and even clinical information.  

State authorities could demand this mountain of information from any one firm within 90 days, making an already exorbitant price tag for compliance astronomical. The result will be a diversion of critical resources that are currently supporting jobs, innovative research, and even buyer discount programs. Furthermore, potential start-ups in any field considering New York for their location will be tempted to look elsewhere, opting for states that do not impose such capricious market controls on private businesses.

The Empire State can ill afford to be re-taught this hard lesson. New York already has the highest state and local tax burden in the U.S., as a percentage of personal income. Furthermore, the Tax Foundation ranks New York second-worst on its comprehensive business tax climate index. Given these indicators, New York officials should be working to tear down impediments to prosperity for residents rather than building new ones.

For these reasons, the State Senate and Assembly should unequivocally oppose the Governor’s efforts to implement oppressive disclosure requirements and price controls on the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. The future health of all sectors in the state’s economy, and by extension the well-being of taxpayers, is at stake.

Sincerely,

Pete Sepp, President

cc: Members of the Senate and Assembly