Press Release

PhRMA: Clinton Proposal Would Reverse Medical Innovation

PhRMA September 22, 2015

These sweeping and far-reaching proposals would restrict patients’ access to medicines, result in fewer new treatments for patients, cost countless jobs across the country and erode our nation’s standing as the world leader in biomedical innovation.

Washington, D.C. (September 22, 2015) — Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) president and CEO John J. Castellani today released the following statement in response to the proposal released by Secretary Clinton to regulate prescription drug prices: 

“Researchers and scientists across the biopharmaceutical industry have dedicated their lives to the search for new treatments and cures for patients. They do this against seemingly insurmountable odds, knowing that despite years of work on potential medicines nine out of ten will fail during clinical trials and the process will start over. This persistence and dedication to patients has resulted in tremendous advances against some of life’s biggest enemies, including cancer, hepatitis c, heart disease and other terrible diseases.

“Secretary Clinton’s proposal would turn back the clock on medical innovation and halt progress against the diseases that patients fear most. These sweeping and far-reaching proposals would restrict patients’ access to medicines, result in fewer new treatments for patients, cost countless jobs across the country and erode our nation’s standing as the world leader in biomedical innovation.

“These proposals are driven by the false notion that spending on medicines is fueling overall health care cost growth and ignores how the current marketplace for medicines helps keep spending in check. In reality, the share of health care spending attributable to medicines is projected to continue to grow in line with overall health care cost growth for at least the next decade. This is because competition and negotiation by payers result in steep discounts in medicine prices, and as a result of the current patent system 90 percent of medicines used are low-cost generic copies.   

“It may not be known for decades the full consequences of policies that shift time, resources and energy away from searching for cures for the most challenging and complex diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and the most difficult forms of cancer. And yet the stakes could not be higher for the patients who are waiting for new medicines that can improve their lives and offer them more time with loved ones.” 

Specifically, the Clinton proposal:

  • Places arbitrary spending caps on the most research-intensive industry in America, which represents one in every five dollars spent on domestic R&D by U.S. businesses. This would erode the U.S. leadership in biomedical innovation, spur loss of high-tech STEM jobs and undermine U.S. competitiveness.
  • Would result in higher costs and fewer coverage options for the tens of millions of seniors who rely on the successful and hugely popular Medicare Part D program.
  • Risks patient safety by permitting the importation of medicines from abroad with no evidence of savings.
  • Ignores the considerable return taxpayers already receive from investment in basic research and the reality that biopharmaceutical companies perform the vast majority of research and development of new medicines.
  • Would halt medical innovation and chill R&D investment by reducing data protection for biologics.

About PhRMA

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading innovative biopharmaceutical research companies, which are devoted to discovering and developing medicines that enable patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. Since 2000, PhRMA member companies have invested more than $600 billion in the search for new treatments and cures, including an estimated $51.2 billion in 2014 alone.

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