A New York Times contributor asks, would cutting drug prices result in fewer medical breakthroughs? 

Despite all of these compelling arguments, cutting prices for novel new drugs would exacerbate another problem: the government’s shrinking role in biomedical research. According to a recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, private sources accounted for 58 percent of medical research funding in 2012, up from 46 percent in 2004. Public resources for such research would drop much further if President Trump’s budget proposal to slash National Institutes of Health funding by nearly 25 percent were adopted.

Because industry pays for a large share of research, high drug prices do not just generate profits; they also become a funding source for important scientific work. In some cases, the experimental drugs that provide meager benefits to the patients taking them are indirectly providing a much broader public good.

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