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Oregon Governor Signs Misleading Drug Pricing Bill

March 13, 2018

Washington, DC (March 13, 2018) –Jim Greenwood, President and CEO of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), and Denise McCarty, Executive Director of the Oregon Bioscience Association, issued the following statements today after Governor Kate Brown (D-OR) signed into law HB 4005, a misleading drug pricing and reporting bill:

“The men and women of the biotech industry work every day to help heal the world and improve the lives of patients,” said Jim Greenwood. “Unfortunately, the bill Governor Brown has signed will have a chilling effect on an innovative industry and do nothing to empower patients or lower their prescription drug costs. The bill doesn’t shine any light on insurers and other middlemen who ultimately determine how much people pay for prescription drugs. The bill also doesn’t address the discriminatory practices of insurance companies that force individuals with rare and even life-threatening diseases to pay more for the medicines they need. Instead of providing real transparency, state policymakers have adopted a misleading scheme that will fail to provide patients the lower drug costs they were promised.”

“Oregon’s life sciences community is critically important to our state, providing higher-paying, technically skilled jobs directly to more than 17,000 Oregonians and helping to discover new cures and treatments for patients,” said Denise McCarty. “Unfortunately, this legislation will negatively impact not only workers and researchers but also patients in need of life-saving medications. It will not impact drug prices or provide meaningful information to those struggling at the pharmacy counter with high out-of-pocket medication costs. Instead of helping patients, the bill will hurt some patients by creating an unfair stigma around medical conditions that are more costly to treat. HB 4005 may preclude solutions that would support biomedical innovation in our state, recruit biotech companies and help patients afford the medicines they need.”

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