Good Day BIO: How price controls hurt patients

September 28, 2021
The government’s not the only thing that might shut down. Proposed drug price controls could shut down investment in future cures and harm patients—today’s new episode of the I am BIO Podcast explains why. Plus, BIO IMPACT 2021 begins in one week—we have details about…
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The government’s not the only thing that might shut down. Proposed drug price controls could shut down investment in future cures and harm patients—today’s new episode of the I am BIO Podcast explains why. Plus, BIO IMPACT 2021 begins in one week—we have details about how BIO and our members are tackling climate. (811 words, 4 minutes, 3 seconds)

 

How price controls hurt patients

 
 

We talk a lot about why H.R. 3 is bad—but you don’t have to take our word for it. In today’s new episode of the I am BIO Podcast, players across the drug development ecosystem—innovators, investors, patients—explain exactly how price controls would hurt patients and future cures.

H.R. 3 “would essentially freeze up funding sources for small biotechs nationwide,” says BIO President and CEO Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath. “The proposal gives Medicare the power to dictate the prices companies can charge for drugs and would require drug manufacturers to accept prices that other countries pay.”

These include small biotechs like Pieris Pharmaceuticals—which is working on a new class of medicines called Anticalin proteins to treat cancer and deadly respiratory disorders. 

“Like many other biotechnology companies, we don’t have drugs that we sell yet,” explains Ahmed Mousa, SVP and Head of Business Development at Pieris. “All of the drugs that we’re working on are either in clinical trials or in preclinical development, which means that we rely entirely on investors to help power our research and development activities.” 

But H.R. 3 could lead to “less investors in the space,” he says, meaning less funding, fewer biotechs, and smaller budgets for the ones that remain, “allowing them to work on less programs.”

“But a second and even maybe more unfortunate consequence of this is that the companies that do survive are probably going to be working on therapies that take lower levels of risk, meaning less breakthrough innovations and the smaller benefit for patients,” continues Mousa. 

“At the end of the day, it may mean that patients will have fewer choices,” adds Michele Oshman, VP for External Affairs at BIO and Executive Director of the Council of State Bioscience Associations. “Cutting the innovator's ability to recoup R&D costs, and so limiting that reimbursement for medicines, is going to result in fewer medicines.” 

The episode also features insights from a life science entrepreneur, an investor, as well as families of patients who would be directly impacted—and all agree that while H.R. 3 is tackling an important problem (access to medicines), the method will do far more harm than good.

The episode is available now on Apple, Google, and Spotify—listen, rate, review, and subscribe! 

You can help fight dangerous drug price controls. Visit www.SaveCures.com to contact your Members of Congress and tell them why H.R. 3 will harm patients and future cures.

 
 
 
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How BIO’s making an impact

 
 

To address climate change, we need big thinking and determination—as well as practical, purposeful steps and science-based solutions. Here’s how BIO and our members are making an impact.

In one week, we kick off BIO IMPACT, a webinar series about how biotechnology can build a more sustainable future. On Tuesday, October 5, we’ll explore how we can promote consistent sustainability accounting and highlight innovations and partnerships for climate mitigation and a resilient biobased economy—get the details and register.

BIO and our members are committed to sustainability and solving the climate crisis with science—leveraging a deep knowledge about the mechanics of life at the molecular level to accelerate technologies like CRISPR and synbio (to name just two) to help transition us away from carbon.

BIO joined the National Academy of Medicine’s new “Climate Collaborative.” Formally called the Action Collaborative on Decarbonizing the U.S. Health Sector, it’s a public-private partnership of leaders across the health system committed to addressing the sector’s environmental impact while strengthening its sustainability and resilience. 

BIO President and CEO Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath will lead a working group focused on decarbonizing critical health care supply chains—which is closely linked to BIO’s mission, vision, and purpose

BIO also convened a Sustainability Working Group, led by Dana O’Brien, BIO’s first Chief Sustainability Officer. This group is driving policy, enhancing collaboration, and promoting scientific breakthroughs that reduce carbon and improve the health of our families and planet.

As one example…the group helped BIO submit comments on SEC’s climate impact disclosure request for information; more work with the SEC on broader environmental/social/governance (ESG) metrics is likely in the days ahead.

Read: Making carbon markets work  

Do you want to get involved? Join us this fall/winter at BIO IMPACT and learn more.  

 
 
 
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Dr. Mario Molina was a Mexican chemist who discovered that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) could deplete stratospheric ozone. He made the discovery in the mid-1970s but it took many years for his work to be taken seriously by policymakers. He shared the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on stratospheric chemistry.

Meet more Hispanic and Latinx scientists and innovators you should know.

 
 
 
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President Biden’s Tuesday: He got his Pfizer-BioNTech booster yesterday. The White House COVID-19 Response Team is scheduled to hold a briefing at 12:30 PM ET. 

What’s Happening on Capitol Hill: The clock’s ticking on Capitol Hill with Congress needing to pass government funding by the end of Thursday—CNBC has the latest news. Meanwhile, the House Education & Labor Committee will hold a hearing on protecting communities from COVID-19.

 
 
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