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BIO’s Jim Greenwood on H.R. 3: “Let’s Move Past This Extreme, Partisan Bill”

December 12, 2019
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Brian Newell
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In video statement, Greenwood says it's time to “begin the real work of delivering a bipartisan and holistic” solution to lower drug costs

Washington, DC (December 12, 2019) – Former Congressman Jim Greenwood, President and CEO of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), today called on Congress to move past Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s extreme drug pricing bill (H.R. 3) and begin working on bipartisan, holistic solutions that will lower out-of-pocket drug costs for patients and protect the future discovery of cures and treatments. In video remarks delivered at a small biotech company in Rockville, MD, Greenwood notes that Congress’s own budget experts have confirmed the bill will delay or deny the development of new treatments for vulnerable patients. That’s why life science investors and more than 135 biotech leaders have urged Congress to reject H.R. 3 and develop a more responsible, bipartisan approach.

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FULL TRANSCRIPT OF VIDEO

Hi, I’m Jim Greenwood, of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization.

I’m standing in a research laboratory of GlycoMimetics, a small biotech company in Rockville, Maryland. Inside researchers are working day in and day out trying to develop new treatments for blood cancer and other diseases.

Like all of us in the life sciences industry, the team at GlycoMimetics wants to make sure that patients can afford the medicines they invent. It’s a commitment they believe in deeply, and so should our elected lawmakers.

Unfortunately, the House of Representatives has passed an extreme, partisan drug pricing bill that will shut down life-saving research.

The Members of Congress who voted for this legislation, known as H.R. 3, ignored the truth about how drug discovery works, and rather than helping patients to afford their medicine, they’ve crushed the hope of millions of patients desperately waiting for new treatments.

The bill fails to fix an insurance system that discriminates against the sick and it refuses to hold middlemen accountable for profiting at patients’ expense.

Congress’s own budget experts have warned the bill will delay or deny the development of new treatments.

That’s why leaders at more than 135 small biotech companies, as well as patient advocates and life science investors, have spoken out against this extreme legislation.

H.R. 3 is the wrong approach to rein in drug costs, and members of Congress who voted for it need to ask themselves: Which patients should be denied the next miracle treatment? Those with Alzheimer’s? Parkinson’s? Cancer?

We believe in two basic moral principles: First: No patient should ever have to do without the medicine he or she needs because they cannot afford what is required to come from their pocket. And second, policymakers should never deny patients the new medicines they need.

There has never been a more promising time in biomedical discovery, where the hope of not only treating but curing devastating diseases is well within reach.

And there has never been a more urgent time to address what patients pay out of pocket for life-saving medicines.

The scientists behind me and the patients waiting for a cure deserve a real solution, not a phony political trick.

Let’s move past this extreme, partisan bill and begin the real work of delivering a bipartisan and holistic solution that lowers out-of-pocket drug costs for patients and protects the future discovery of cures and treatments.

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