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Biden Drug Plan Adds Barriers to Seniors Accessing Lifesaving Medicines

August 12, 2021
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President Joe Biden today announced a slew of drug pricing reforms, including changes that would radically alter the widely successful Medicare program for seniors and people with disabilities.

Rich Masters, BIO’s Chief Public Affairs and Advocacy Officer, made the following remarks about the plan:

“While we respect and share the president’s desire to make drugs more affordable and accessible for the patients who need them, this plan is the wrong approach. It would upend a popular program, restrict access to critical medicines, and make it more difficult for small, innovative biotech companies to attract the investment they need to discover new medicines that our seniors are waiting for to live more productive, healthier lives.

“By allowing government bureaucrats to set prices with no regard for the long term impact on patients waiting for cures, the new plan will create massive barriers to medical innovation. Patients suffering from rare diseases – defined as diseases affecting fewer than 200,000 people -- will be uniquely disadvantaged by this plan. Right now, 95% of rare diseases have no medicines or treatment options. The medicines that are available for this vulnerable group are precisely the ones this plan would target, eliminating hope for millions of patients.

“Scientists in the biotech industry are working hard to find medicines that save and improve lives, as has been demonstrated in their around-the-clock efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. The medicines of today are changing the world – and the medicines of tomorrow could be just around the corner.

“BIO has made clear our desire to advocate for policy reforms that lower patient spending at the pharmacy counter without compromising scientific advancement and the support needed to usher in the next generation of cures and breakthrough medicines. Unfortunately, the president’s plan is no such reform. 

“We hope the White House reconsiders this plan and look forward to working with the president and members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to find bipartisan solutions that benefit patients today AND tomorrow.”

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