Reasonable Pricing Clause in PAHPA Undermines Ability To Protect Country And Prepare for Future Pandemics
BIO urges HELP Committee to remove provision from legislation
The Senate HELP Committee today released a discussion draft of legislation to reauthorize the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA). BIO represents many small- and mid-size companies that are at the heart of the type of public-private partnerships that are critical to the development of medical countermeasures. Phyllis Arthur, Senior Vice President for Infectious Disease and Emerging Science Policy at BIO, released the following statement:
“The inclusion of a reasonable pricing clause in the PAHPA reauthorization will effectively shut down private sector investment and the type of public-private partnerships that are vital to the development of life-saving medical countermeasures (MCMs). This is especially true for many MCMs that have a limited or no commercial market and rely on these partnerships. It will make us less safe as we work to ensure that our nation’s intelligence, defense and healthcare agencies have the tools they need to defend all Americans from chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats, including threats from our adversaries, and to be better prepared for future pandemics.
“Reasonable pricing clauses have been tried in the past at NIH and failed – slowing private investment and engagement across the agency. Once they were revoked, critical partnerships resumed and increased. HELP Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders has indicated that he wants to enact this policy across the government. The result will be that the very sustainable, trusted partnerships that have led to the innovations that protect the nation will be seen as risky investments.
“BIO greatly appreciates the interest in incentives for investment in MCMs and strongly supports those policies in the draft. Efforts to spur innovation, the development of new and faster response capabilities, and prepare for all types of national hazards has always been the purpose of PAHPA, and BIO is committed to supporting provisions that achieve those vital goals. Now is not the time to weaken meaningful incentives – such as the MCM PRV program – that draw investment for R&D to treat unknown threats. The American public deserves and expects as much from their elected representatives, according to new polling.
“We hope that Congress will come together to pass a true bipartisan reauthorization. However, BIO will aggressively oppose this PAHPA reauthorization if reasonable pricing clauses remain.”