Podcast: How the 2024 election may impact manufacturing

Podcast: How the 2024 election may impact manufacturing

March 22, 2024
In this episode of Great Question: A Manufacturing Podcast, our panel of experts discuss how the changing political landscape will affect the food, pharmaceutical, and manufacturing industries.

Karen Langhauser is chief content director at Pharma Manufacturing and has 20+ years of experience in the B2B manufacturing space. Andy Hanacek is senior editor at Food Processing and has covered meat, poultry, bakery, and snack foods during his decades-long tenure in the industry. Bob Vavra is senior content director for Machine Design and Power & Motion. He has covered all aspects of manufacturing and is a regular attendee at events such as IMTS and Hannover Messe. These industry experts recently spoke with Laura Petrey, senior editor of IndustryWeek, about how the 2024 elections will impact manufacturing.

Below is an excerpt from the podcast:

IW: First, let's talk about regulations. Karen, do you want to start and maybe talk a little bit about some new legislation that would make it harder for drug companies to import certain chemicals from China. I know there's a couple of issues going on.

KL: Yeah, actually, we’ve got to back up a little bit. Both candidates have really taken their swing at Big Pharma. You know, it's a popular target. Drug pricing in particular is in the political crosshairs. So the candidates are mostly looking at taking on drug pricing by reducing government spending on Medicare. The Inflation Reduction Act, the IRA, it's really the centerpiece of Biden's economic strategy. And it's also one of the most aggressive drug pricing laws the pharma industry has seen in a long time. Even though the IRA is mostly focused on domestic energy production and clean energy, there's a tenant of the law that looks to lower prescription drug costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate prices with drug companies by putting in inflationary caps on prices. So the first 10 drugs up for negotiations were identified last year, and Medicare is aiming to select, I think, 60 more drugs over the next four years. So, not surprisingly, the pharma industry is not happy. Several pharma companies, as well as the industries’ largest groups, have challenged the constitutionality of the law in court, so far without success. So it does appears as though it's here to stay.

While Trump has repeatedly attacked the IRA's climate and energy provisions (he's not a fan of electric vehicles, if you might have heard), it's not clear if he would push for legislative changes to the drug negotiations portion during his presidency. He had put an executive order in place known as the Most Favored Nations Proposal, where Medicare would be able to buy drugs at the lowest price that a drug manufacturer sells them in a country of comparable GDP, with the idea that Americans shouldn't be paying more for drugs than other developed nations. So when he put that in place right at the end of this term and the pharma industry trade groups sued to stop it, it got tied up in court and it never survived the next administration. But Trump has promised that if he's elected, he's going to reinstate that order. So either way, no matter who's in the White House, it looks like drug pricing is the first thing that's going to be addressed.

IW: Andy, let's take it over to you. What regulations are you focusing on coming down the pipeline in the food industry?

About the Author

Laura Putre

Senior Editor Laura Putre manages IW contributors and covers leadership as it applies to executive best practices, corporate culture, corporate responsibility, growth strategies, managing and training talent, and strategic planning. A former newspaper journalist, Laura has written for Slate, The Root, the Chicago Tribune, the Guardian and many other publications.

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