Washington, D.C. (September 8, 2009) — In response to a draft summary circulated by the Senate Finance Committee, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Senior Vice President Ken Johnson issued the following statement:
“We have not seen the actual legislative language, but the draft summary appears to include our pledge to provide $80 billion in health care savings over a 10-year period. That’s a huge commitment which will force our companies to make some very tough choices moving forward. With the recession and ongoing challenges of discovering and developing new life-saving medicines, they are already feeling significant financial pressures. But if health care reform is going to be successful, it will require a shared sacrifice, and we have stepped up to do our part.
“Most importantly, the Senate Finance Committee’s legislation will provide immediate relief for seniors and disabled Americans who hit the coverage gap, cutting their out-of-pocket costs in half. It’s our understanding the legislation also calls for a significant Medicaid rebate increase – even higher than proposals in the House – as well as an annual company fee based on market share.
“Our agreement was carefully calibrated to avoid catastrophic job losses in a fragile economy, while at the same time offering immediate savings to seniors and disabled Americans and providing tens of billions of dollars that the federal government can use to expand health care coverage to millions of uninsured Americans.
“Chairman Baucus and members of his Committee should be commended for their efforts to provide high-quality, affordable health care coverage and services to all Americans. We look forward to reviewing the bill in its entirety and remain hopeful that it will provide a blueprint for comprehensive health care reform this year.”
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. PhRMA companies are leading the way in the search for new cures. PhRMA members alone invested an estimated $50.3 billion in 2008 in discovering and developing new medicines. Industry-wide research and investment reached a record $65.2 billion in 2008.
PhRMA Internet Address: www.phrma.org
For information on how innovative medicines save lives, visit: www.innovation.org
For information on the Partnership for Prescription Assistance, visit: www.pparx.org
For more information on public health emergencies, visit: www.rxresponse.org