Press Release

PhRMA Statement on Commitment to Health Care Reform

PhRMA August 18, 2009

Washington, D.C. (August 18, 2009) – Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Senior Vice President Ken Johnson today reiterated PhRMA’s commitment to health care reform:

“We have been working diligently for more than a year to advance bipartisan health care reform. We’re proud of those efforts, and they are completely consistent with our core principals, reflecting a fundamental belief that every single American should have access to high-quality, affordable health care coverage and services.

“In the end, we believe our companies’ shared goal will benefit patients, the economy and the future of America by fostering continued medical progress that could lead to new cures for debilitating and often times deadly diseases. Saving money during these difficult economic times is very important, as demonstrated by our $80 billion commitment to health care reform. But you simply can’t put a price tag on our commitment to saving lives.

“Health care reform, if done right, will be a substantial step toward expanding coverage to millions of uninsured and underinsured Americans and changing the course of health care in the U.S. toward real prevention and disease management, rather than just damage control. If we can help patients avoid expensive hospitalizations and unnecessary trips to the emergency room, it can lead to significant savings to the U.S. health care system in the long run.

“Millions of Americans suffer from largely preventable chronic disease – such as diabetes and heart disease. Chronic disease is a leading cause of death and a key health care cost driver in our country. The Milken Institute has estimated that lost workdays and lower employee productivity due to chronic disease results in an annual economic loss in the U.S. of more than $1 trillion, according to the latest figures available. If we are going to bend the curve – and bring rising health care costs under control – then it is time to get serious about addressing the chronic disease epidemic in America.”

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.

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