Drug pricing is expected to be a hot topic in 2023—here’s what you need to know about the outlook and the importance of messaging. Plus, a new strain of a deadly pig disease highlights the importance of advancing animal biotech like gene editing. (618 words, 3 minutes, 5 seconds)
What you need to know about drug pricing in 2023
With the 118th Congress underway in earnest this week as committees begin work on key issues, there’s never been a more important time to discuss the harm price controls will do to R&D and patients.
What’s happening: The Biden administration is beginning work on the drug price controls in the Inflation Reduction Act, while the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee plans to hold hearings on drug prices.
It’s time to shout it from the rooftops:Drug price controls will devastate drug development and patient access to new cures.
The data backs it up: A recent study found that if these price controls had been enacted during the last decade, only 6 of 110 currently approved therapies would have made it to the market.
Europe’s data backs it up, too: “About 85% of new medicines launched between 2012 and 2021 were available in the U.S., compared to 61% in Germany, 59% in the U.K. and 52% in France and Italy,” said the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board last week.
Educating policymakers will be key: “We need to communicate what is important about our industry, and we need to make sure that legislators appreciate what it is that biotech brings, not only to the patients but to the communities that legislators serve,” said BIO’s Interim CEO Rachel King.
What’s next: While the outlook for drug price controls—and what they mean for patients—is troubling, there could be bipartisan opportunities to address some of the real drivers of rising out-of-pocket costs, specifically pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and 340B. Watch this space.
More Reading: What you need to know about the Inflation Reduction Act’s drug provisions
More Health News:
The Washington Post (Opinion): PEPFAR has made so much progress against AIDS. We can’t let up now.
“U.S. policymakers can build on PEPFAR’s remarkable progress and save millions more lives by continuing their bipartisan support for global health programs, including congressional reauthorization of PEPFAR by September of this year,” writes Bill Gates.
New strain of deadly pig disease highlights need for animal biotech
A new variant of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) has spread to six U.S. states, reports Pig Progress—highlighting the importance of advancing animal biotech.
PRRS “is endemic to most swine-producing countries,”said a study published last year, but this particular strain is proving to evolve rapidly and be difficult to eliminate.
PRRS doesn’t harm humans—but it can have a huge impact on animal welfare and farmers’ livelihoods, costing £1.3 billion per year in Europe alone.
But we’ve got biotech for that—specifically, pigs “completely resistant” to the disease, as Elena Rice, CSO of Genus PLC (and BIO Board member), said during last year’s USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum.
How they do it: Using CRISPR to remove a “tiny segment” of the pigs’ DNA, Genus has developed hundreds of pigs that look, develop, grow, and breed like non-gene-edited pigs, “except they do not get sick from PRRS.”
The challenge now: We need a modernized policy approach to animal biotech, specifically streamlined regulatory oversight that allows for faster approval and commercialization worldwide—something BIO has long called for.
BIO’s Interim CEO Rachel King appeared on The BioCentury Show, where she said the organization’s top priorities in 2023 include guiding implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), FDA’s accelerated approval pathway, capital formation, and diversity, equity, and inclusion, which she calls “the pathway to excellence.”
Kicking off what’s expected to be a busy year for the industry in Washington, D.C., King discusses public perceptions of the biotech industry, the need to find and nurture political champions, and the pressing concerns of BIO’s members.
Click here to register and watch now.