Response to Colombia's Declaration of Public Interest
WASHINGTON (June 10, 2016) — Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Vice President, International, Jay Taylor, issued the following statement on Colombia’s issuance of a Declaration of Public Interest:
“We are very disappointed that Colombia has decided to issue a Declaration of Public Interest as a prelude to imposing additional price cuts on a proven cancer medicine.
“There are no legitimate reasons for Colombia to issue a declaration of public interest for the product in question. This medicine is being provided to all Colombian patients who need it and at a price negotiated and agreed by the Colombian Government under its existing pricing system. Several competing versions are also available in Colombia, and there is no apparent shortage or evidence of other access issues. Under these circumstances, a declaration of public interest is unwarranted and unjustified.
“Biopharmaceutical innovators support strong national health systems and timely access to quality, safe and effective medicines for patients who need them. Ad hoc price cuts are not effective or sustainable ways to improve access or achieve other critical public health goals. Pricing systems should be based on transparent rules and fair processes that provide business certainty for pharmaceutical innovators.
“The issuance of a declaration of public interest as a mechanism to impose superfluous price controls sets a harmful global precedent, undermining the incentives that enable high-risk research and development investments in life-saving medical innovation and a host of other cutting-edge industries.
“The way to achieve access to medicines is not through compromising incentives for innovation but by leveraging the collective abilities, strengths and resources of all stakeholders to improve health outcomes.”
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 half a trillion dollars in the search for new treatments and cures, including an estimated $58.8 billion in 2015 alone.