Final reconciliation package a "disservice to patients and researchers"
Senate lawmakers today passed a sweeping, $740 billion reconciliation package after an all-night session. Following the vote, Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath, president and CEO of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), made the following statement:
"Nothing we heard from the lengthy floor debate on the Senate floor over the past two days can take away from the fact that every credible analysis of the Inflation Reduction Act comes to the same conclusion: fewer cures for patients. For that reason, we remain in staunch opposition to the government price control schemes included in the final reconciliation package passed today.
"While we have frequently voiced our support for the Part D out-of-pocket cap included in the bill, we have also repeatedly warned of the policy’s drastic and unnecessary blow to cures and therapies. Its passage today has built new barriers to battling current and future deadly pandemics, health inequality, and finding treatments for rare and hard-to-treat diseases.
"Concerningly, small biotech companies, which are responsible for the lion's share of medical innovation, will bear the brunt of these consequences; these companies rely on a healthy investment environment to stay afloat and bring lifesaving therapies to patients. We applaud those Senators who attempted to exempt the work of these pioneering companies – and the millions of Americans who work within the innovation ecosystem.
"By choking off critical private investment in future R&D for companies of all sizes, the bill will set back the next generation of lifesaving cures and treatments patients are relying on -- and cost hundreds of thousands of Americans their livelihoods in the process.
"It also marks a missed opportunity by this Congress to address the true cause of rising out-of-pocket costs for patients. We greatly appreciate the attempt to include reforms to the PBM rebate system that would have helped patients at the pharmacy counter, but unfortunately the bill at final passage remains bereft of any provisions that systematically and holistically tackle the biggest drivers of out-of-pocket costs in our system.
"The price controls passed today are a major disservice to patients and researchers. Looking forward, BIO has and will continue to advocate for pro-science policies that increase patient access to life-enhancing and life-saving treatments while also pushing the boundaries of medical innovation."