Letter to the Editor: Focus on vaccine development, not bad policy

It is clear that our country’s fight with COVID-19 is long from over. Though Delaware seems to be entering the later phases of dealing with this virus, as a country, we’ve a long way to go. I have loved ones that are high risk for COVID-19; needless to say, as long as this virus continues to spread and we’re without a vaccine, I’ll remain worried as they face increased health risks.

Because of these risks, we’ve been cooped up at home for months. I’ve taken to only making essential trips to the grocery store and the pharmacy, avoiding both altogether if at all possible. I can’t imagine going back to any kind of normalcy without a vaccine for COVID-19.

Fortunately, the domestic biopharmaceutical industry is working diligently to develop one. But recently, a new “most favored nations” executive order from President Donald Trump will work as a roadblock to their progress.

The administration has proposed utilizing the International Pricing Index, which will tie domestic drug prices to foreign ones. Doing this undervalues the work of biopharmaceutical researchers and scientists. Ultimately, any policy that threatens the boundaries of biopharmaceutical innovation during a global health crisis is both dangerous and ill-advised. I can’t understand why he would try and politicize health care right now.

For the sake of patients, we should all be focused on the COVID-19 response and the researchers and scientists working on vaccine development, not bad policy.

David Walsh