The state of Ohio is home to more than 3,300 bioscience companies, top-ranked health systems, and research universities—many of which are focused on developing innovative new treatments. Across the state, Ohioans are transforming the way we think about diseases once thought incurable.

This ecosystem of innovation is a crown jewel that is saving lives today and giving patients hope for tomorrow. At the same time, it’s attracting investments from around the world, employing more than 75,000 of our fellow Ohioans and helping support our state’s economy.

Yet all this progress and hope could be jeopardized by a proposal being discussed at the Capitol.

As a part of the state’s budget negotiations, lawmakers are considering subjecting Ohio Medicaid to a proposal devised by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services called the International Pricing Index Model (IPI). Put simply, the IPI model would implement government-mandated price controls based on prices set by other countries. Many of those countries arbitrarily lower prices through price controls and other regulations, resulting in severe access restrictions for patients and no meaningful reductions in health care costs.

The legislature here in Ohio is rightfully pursing the well-intended goal of easing health care costs. Unfortunately, not only would adopting the IPI model in Ohio do nothing to achieve that goal, it could result in harmful, unintended consequences not only for patients in Ohio but for the bioscience ecosystem across the state. It’s simply the wrong approach.

If we were to apply this price setting measure here in Ohio, it would hinder patients’ access to needed treatments and stifle research and development (R&D) of innovative medicines.

This isn’t a theory. In many of the foreign countries the IPI model references, government price setting has contributed to restricted access to medicines. In fact, patients in in these countries get access to some life-saving treatments far behind patients here in the United States.

In the United States, 96% of new cancer medicines are available to patients, compared to 65% in France and 56% in Canada, according to a recent study conducted by IQVIA. At the same time, patients in these countries face severe delays when it comes to the medicines they need.

When it comes to Ohio’s bioscience industry, foreign price controls are simply incompatible with a robust system that encourage rigorous research and development that is critical to discovering new medicines and treatments.

In other countries, government-dictated pricing significantly reduced the amount of global biopharmaceutical R&D, and would threaten to do the same in the U.S. In fact, recent research estimates that lifting government price controls in certain countries would result in 8 to 13 additional new medicines launching globally every year by 2030, according to Precision Health Economics.

We know that Ohio attracts patients from across the globe seeking treatment in our world class medical facilities like the Cleveland Clinic, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Ohio State University James Cancer Center and many others.

Implementing public policy that could delaying the availability of treatments and harm innovation could put this at risk – that’s something we can’t afford.

As the Ohio legislature finalizes the state budget, it’s important that government-dictated price control schemes remain absent from the state’s plans. Ensuring that market forces continue to operate in Ohio is critical for the health of our citizens and the economic engine that is Ohio’s biopharmaceutical sector.

The budget proposal is being considered in a conference committee and must be acted upon in coming weeks. We urge you to take action before this proposal moves any farther, and ask House and Senate members to reject this proposal. Visit this link (https://www.weworkforhealth.org/oh-employees-reject-ipi) to send a simple, pre-formatted letter directly to legislators and make your voice heard.

Ohio legislators must protect innovation, jobs, and more importantly, our patients.