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Keep Decisions About Medicines Between Patients and Doctors

Our elected leaders need to lower what patients pay out of pocket for prescription drugs, but there is a right and wrong way to do it. Unfortunately, Congress is expected to vote on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s extreme proposal (H.R. 3) that would allow the policies of foreign governments to dictate the standard of care for American patients. Importing foreign policies that lead to rationed care and restricted access to prescription medicines will devastate patients and the development of life-saving treatments. Speaker Pelosi’s drug pricing plan will:

  • Restrict access to new medicines for patients in need.
    • Nearly 90% of new medicines launched since 2011 are available in the U.S., compared to just 50% in France, 48% in Switzerland, and 46% in Canada. (source)
    • Of the 74 cancer drugs launched between 2011 and 2018, 95% are available in the United States, compared with 74% in the United Kingdom, 49% in Japan, and 8% in Greece. (source)
    • In addition to fewer choices, patients in these countries must often wait years longer for new medications than patients in the U.S., and the decisions regarding who gets the therapies are made by the governments – not patients and their doctors. (source)
  • Jeopardize the ability to develop new cures and treatments.
    • The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has said adopting H.R. 3 would result in up to 15 fewer medicines being discovered in the coming years. But CBO only reviewed one part of H.R. 3, which means the bill’s full impact on the discovery of new medicines will be much worse. (source)
    • Prior to adopting price controls, European companies invested 24% more on prescription drug R&D than U.S.-based companies. By 2015, European-based companies had fallen behind their U.S. counterparts by 40%. (source)
    • A 2018 study by researchers with Precision Health Economics found that eliminating price controls in OECD countries would lead a 12 percent increase in R&D and the development of 13 new drugs per year. (source)
  • Destroy the U.S.-based biotech economy.
    • H.R. 3 puts in jeopardy the biotech industry’s 1.74 million employees and 8 million jobs that support the industry throughout the entire U.S. (source
    • According to CBO, adopting foreign price controls into Medicare Part D would extract between $500 billion and $1 trillion out of the biopharmaceutical industry. And since the CBO conducted only a partial review of the bill, the impact is expected to be much worse. This will dramatically hurt the investment America’s scientists and researchers depend on to fund their research and development. (source)
    • Less than 10% of all public U.S. biopharmaceutical companies earn a profit. In other words, more than 90 percent of these companies are unprofitable. The biopharmaceutical industry ranks 36th among all U.S. industries in profitability. (source)

But isn’t foreign free-riding a problem?

  • Yes, and in fact, virtually every part of our health care system is more expensive than in Europe. Instead of importing the problem, the U.S. should export the solution. Our country creates more new medicines than the rest of the world combined because we reject government price setting for medicines.
    • Policymakers should work to promote fair trade agreements that force foreign countries to respect American intellectual property and fairly value American innovation.
    • Voters agree that it’s important for the U.S. to seek stronger intellectual property protections in trade deals with other countries, which is on par with other U.S. trade priorities. (source
    • Rather than impose artificial price controls, policymakers should focus on correcting market failures, increasing competition, and lowering costs for patients. 

Patients need real solutions for lowering drug costs, not political bills that jeopardize patient access to life-saving medicines. According to a poll by Kaiser Family Foundation, 62% of people would oppose government negotiations with drugmakers if it could lead to less R&D for new drugs and 65% would be opposed if it could limit access to new medicines. (source)

Contact your elected representatives today. Tell them to oppose a plan that will allow bureaucrats to come between patients and their doctors.

Act now! Urge your representative to oppose H.R. 3 and support solutions that lower what people pay for life-saving medicines and ensure all patients can get the cures and treatments they need.