BIO supports the following three principles, and believes that each is a vital step toward meaningful health care reform and providing a solution to the nation’s health care crisis. BIO believes that each principle is equally important, that they are inextricably intertwined, and that any meaningful health care reform proposal must address all three. Specifically, BIO believes:
The nation's public policy goal should be universal access to affordable, high quality health care for all Americans;
Innovation in health care, including health care solutions such as new therapies and diagnostics, has always been and will continue to be central to realizing our health and economic goals; and
Market-based solutions are essential for maintaining the conditions that have led to America's leadership position in health care innovation.
BIO supports universal access to affordable, sustainable, high-quality health care for all. Achieving universal access requires universal responsibility on the part of all stakeholders: individuals, employers, physicians, manufacturers, insurers, hospitals, and society as a whole. BIO believes that market-based reforms provide the best opportunity to achieve the goal of universal access while providing high quality care and incentives for the discovery and development of innovative improvements throughout the health care delivery system.
Today, nearly 46 million people in the United States lack health care coverage. Whether due to barriers in the enrollment process, limited choices because of preexisting conditions or simply the inability to afford health insurance, many Americans do not have access to the life-saving medications and therapies they need.
BIO and its member companies are committed to expanding the boundaries of science by discovering, developing and delivering innovative and needed medications to patients. Our products not only enhance the quality of life, they often offer patients the best option for medical treatment. We believe that all patients who can benefit from our medications and therapies should have access to them, and we believe that physicians, not third parties, are best equipped to decide whether and which medications are most appropriate for patients. Our goal is to get the right medical product to the right patient at the right time. However, BIO and its member companies can only help achieve this goal if effective and sustainable solutions are provided to ensure more people secure health care coverage and gain access to the latest innovations in medical treatment while maintaining incentives for innovation to occur.
To that end, BIO has identified the following issues as critical for policymakers’ to address as they craft policies designed to improve access to health care services and coverage:
1. Ensure universal access to medically appropriate, innovative therapies and diagnostics.
Patients should have access to the most appropriate treatments regardless of cost. It is both the role of the patient and physician to choose the best treatment and use the benefits of innovation appropriately. BIO member companies are actively engaged in developing innovative pharmacogenomics, as well as personalized medical therapies and diagnostics to improve patient care.
Proposals that limit access to these medical technologies can lead to potential delays in obtaining care or sub-optimal care, resulting in higher health costs and poor health outcomes. Through such means as Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs), many of BIO’s members are meeting their responsibility to assist financially vulnerable patients in accessing needed therapies when cost is a barrier. Outreach efforts to educate patients, health care providers, and pharmacists about manufacturer-sponsored PAPs that provide life-saving therapies to vulnerable patients at no cost should continue as part of a comprehensive approach to improving access to health care services and coverage.
2. Implement market-based, consumer-oriented solutions to increase patient access to innovation.
BIO supports solutions that encourage and enable the private market to ensure that consumers and providers have a choice among affordable coverage options, while enhancing and continuing the discovery of new innovative therapies and their accessibility to those patients who need them the most. Fostering innovation is the best way to sustain the growth in value of the health care delivery system. Innovation, including new medical therapies, can help to ensure access to needed health care by reducing the burden of or even curing costly diseases, as well as keeping total societal costs down. Innovations in the way treatments are covered and paid for, such as diagnosis-based formulary design, can enhance access while reducing costs. These kinds of innovations can only occur within a market-based, consumer-oriented system. Incentives should be realigned, potentially through tax credits or vouchers, to ensure that individuals obtain insurance through their employer, existing public programs or individually. In addition, medical malpractice reform should be considered a critical element to enhancing the delivery of medicine.
3. Maximize participation in and support consumer-oriented reforms to existing public programs, especially Medicaid and SCHIP.