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BIO Statement on State of the Union Address

February 5, 2019
Media Contact
Brian Newell
202.312.9268

Washington, DC (February 5, 2019) – BIO’s President and CEO Jim Greenwood issued the following statement today on President Trump’s State of the Union Address:

“Tonight’s State of the Union Address provides the President an opportunity to stake out a position in favor of lowering out-of-pocket costs for American patients by embracing policies designed to reduce the role of middlemen and push insurers to cover the medicines their beneficiaries need.

“Every day the men and women of the biopharmaceutical industry work to deliver new treatments and new hope for countless patients. Because of their dedication and free-market policies that encourage innovation, we've made great strides in the fight against deadly diseases like HIV, hepatitis C, and cancer. Innovative treatments are improving the quality of life for patients and bending the cost curve in health care spending. And our industry is eager to help deliver responsible solutions that ensure prescription drugs are affordable for all patients.

“No one should be denied access to a life-saving medicine because of what he or she is expected to pay at the pharmacy. While most Americans fill prescriptions for low-cost generic medicines, there is a growing number of patients with difficult health challenges who are being asked to pay an ever greater share of their prescription drug costs. The burden insurers and other middlemen are shifting on to the most vulnerable patients is fueling the affordability crisis we now face.

“It would be a tragedy if policymakers took action that stymied innovation or failed to address the skyrocketing out-of-pocket costs some individuals are forced to pay. There is too much at stake for our elected leaders to place short-term political interests ahead of the long-term well-being of America's patients. If the president and Congress want to make a real difference, then they need to look at the entire drug cost ecosystem. A holistic approach is the only way to ensure biomedical innovation continues to thrive and all patients have affordable access to the treatments they need.”

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