White House Budget Proposal a "Costly Blow" to Patients, Innovation
President Biden today unveiled details of the White House’s budget request that included drastic changes to the Medicare program, including further expanding the program’s new authority to institute price controls in Medicare. BIO Chief Advocacy Officer, Nick Shipley, made the following statement:
“The President’s plan to expand Medicare price controls is another costly blow to the millions of patients depending on innovative cures, particularly those in the rare and orphan drug space. The White House hasn’t even implemented the pharmaceutical provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act, yet they are already proposing to further destabilize Medicare, slow critical investment in future research and development, stall drug innovation, and ultimately harm patients. Press reports indicate HHS wants to double the size of the price control program, without even the slightest acknowledgement about impacts on diseases like oncology or Alzheimer’s.
“These impacts are then disproportionality felt by the very small biotechnology businesses that are responsible for nearly 80% of the treatments in the clinical pipeline. These companies rely on stable investing market to stay afloat. They are also responsible for the lion's share of medical innovation, helping millions of Americans live longer and healthier lives. Without a healthy investment environment, the cures of tomorrow might never reach the patients who desperately need them.
“BIO supports legislative solutions to bolster medical innovation and increase patient access to medicines. We’ve consistently advocated for patient out-of-pocket caps and a crackdown on pharmacy benefit managers – the middlemen in the drug supply chain responsible for inflating drug prices. Much like the IRA was a gift to pharmacy benefit managers by preserving their kickback schemes, the Budget represents another missed opportunity to address one of the biggest drivers in drug pricing.
“While this latest proposal is an attack on medical innovation and American patients, BIO will continue to work alongside the current Administration and lawmakers to find real policy solutions that help patients access innovative treatments. Small biotech companies need a constructive policy environment that rewards innovation. Rare disease patients need legislation that recognizes the challenges of developing treatments for their respective diseases and ensures access isn’t blocked by insurance plans and PBMs. We will continue to look for opportunities to work with lawmakers to address these very real challenges.”