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“Crushing the Hopes of Millions of Patients”


12.11.19

WASHINGTON, DC“Future biomedical innovation will be severely constrained, thus crushing the hopes of millions of patients waiting for the next breakthroughs to treat or cure their cancers, rare genetic diseases, Alzheimer’s, or other serious and lifethreatening conditions.”

Those words, from American innovators dedicated to delivering the newest cures and treatments to countless patients, should be enough to give any lawmaker pause before voting for Speaker Pelosi’s partisan plan for fewer cures.

If that isn’t enough, maybe these warnings about H.R. 3 are more convincing:

With all these warning signs – from patients, innovators, and researchers – about the impact of H.R. 3 on the discovery and delivery of new cures, why are Democrats pushing forward with this partisan bill filled with bad policy? To put it in their own words, they “frankly think it’s worth it.”

As STAT News reported, “Democrats’ new logic on drug pricing is that developing slightly fewer medicines is OK if it means lower prices.”

The American people disagree – 65% of Americans oppose any plan that would limit access to newer prescription drugs, according to a Kaiser poll.

Republicans disagree as well. “Despite what H.R. 3’s cheerleaders have stated, it is not ‘worth it’ to lose potential new cures in order to pass H.R. 3,” said Energy and Commerce Republican Leader Greg Walden (R-OR).

That’s why Republicans are offering an alternative – the Lower Costs, More Cures Act (H.R. 19) – to lower drug costs for Americans without limiting access to cures.

H.R. 19 could earn wide bipartisan support and become law. H.R. 3 will never become law.

H.R. 19 will promote innovation and protect access to cures. H.R. 3 will do the exact opposite.

Lawmakers who want to lower drug costs AND deliver more cures to patients should vote for H.R. 19, and reject Speaker Pelosi’s false choice for fewer cures in H.R. 3.

In Case You Missed It:

CNBC: Investors fear Pelosi’s drug price plan will kill small biotech firms

Passage of Pelosi’s drug plan, which is scheduled for a vote on the House floor as early as Wednesday, could spur investors to take their money elsewhere, the venture capitalists warned lawmakers. The legislation would allow the U.S. government to negotiate lower prices on the costliest drugs each year.

Some Democrats, including co-sponsors of Pelosi’s bill, told the venture capitalists they brought a critical new perspective in the drug pricing debate, Stanford said. He declined to identify any of the lawmakers in the meetings.

A day after the Oct. 29 meeting, the venture capitalists published a letter, as first reported by STAT News, urging Congress to rethink Pelosi’s proposal, saying it would “lead to an immediate decrease in capital available for early-stage life science companies.”

The potential impact on smaller biotech companies adds a new layer to the drug pricing debate ahead of a highly anticipated House vote on Pelosi’s bill later this week. Talk around Pelosi’s drug pricing plan, which is expected to pass the Democratic-controlled House, has mainly focused on large pharmaceutical companies, some of which are better able to weather sweeping policy proposals.

Drugmakers, Congress and the White House agree that Pelosi’s bill would reduce the number of new drugs coming to the U.S. market. But each group’s estimates vary.

Republicans, who oppose Pelosi’s bill, have been quick to cite a report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that said the plan would lead to a reduction of eight to 15 new drugs coming to the market over 10 years. Industry trade group PhRMA, short for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, said it would result in at least 56 fewer medicines. The White House claims as many as 100.

Click here to read the full story.

Washington Examiner: Patient groups, often wary of diminished access to drugs, silent on Pelosi pricing bill 

Advocacy organizations for patients with serious illnesses have been noticeably silent about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s bill to lower drug prices ahead of a high-profile House vote this week.

Outside sources close to the debate said many such organizations who fear the measure would curb access to future drugs know they need to be careful about crossing Democrats ahead of a major election, especially when the bill has no chance of becoming law and Congress is closing in on a massive spending deal with numerous healthcare provisions.

The silence is notable given that access to drugs, including the ability to pay for them, is critical for people with severe illnesses who depend on medicines to survive. Patient groups hold clout with voters in part because they bring patients to Capitol Hill to tell deeply moving personal stories that would otherwise remain outside the public eye.

Despite these promises, the bill contains a downside seized on by critics. The Congressional Budget Office projected that if an earlier version of the bill were to become law, then an estimated eight fewer cures or treatments would reach the market over a decade and another 30 fewer over the subsequent decade because drug companies would take in fewer profits and therefore invest less in new research. That could give pause to organizations that advocate for patients without cures now, including people with rare diseases, with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, or certain cancers.

Click here to read the full story.


Subcommittees
Health (116th Congress)
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