Families across Iowa are waiting with our fingers crossed for new cures. We’ve seen breakthroughs in medical science transform treatment for HIV-AIDS and numerous other diseases. We’ve watched the progress, and we’re hoping for more.

As a caregiver for someone with Parkinson’s, I pray for new treatment options for this heartbreaking, degenerative condition. We must put a stop to this devastating disease.

I’m a strong believer that only a free market can drive the innovation necessary to cure Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and other “incurable” ailments.

That’s why I’m upset about a Health and Human Services Administration plan, which would benchmark U.S. prices for many prescription drugs to government-set prices in other countries. The plan is referred to as the International Pricing Index Model.

Why would we let other countries control our drug market? And why would we import their problems, which include reduced treatment access for patients? Few other policy ideas would have such an immediate, negative impact on private investment into new medications or more thoroughly deprive patients, caregivers, and families of our hope.

HHS should reconsider this plan right away.

Lisa Wagner, Spirit Lake