Washington, D.C. (October 29, 2009) – Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Senior Vice President Ken Johnson released the following statement regarding the House health care reform bill:
“Our top priority is to help ensure that a comprehensive health care reform bill gets to the President's desk this year so that millions of uninsured Americans have access to high-quality, affordable health care coverage and services. However, we continue to oppose the approach the House is taking to achieve this goal.
“The 1,990-page House draft bill – which we are currently reviewing – contains a number of problematic provisions for seniors, patients, and the continued development of new therapies that not only improve or save lives, but ultimately help reduce the burden of health care costs in America.
“PhRMA and its member companies share the goal of closing the Medicare Part D coverage gap for affected seniors and have agreed to provide a 50 percent discount on brand-name medicines purchased in the so-called “doughnut hole”. However, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has warned that the House bill, which imposes mandatory rebates in Part D, would ultimately lead to a 20 percent increase in Part D premiums paid by beneficiaries.
“What’s more, according to CBO, imposing a mandatory rebate on Part D prescription drugs would reduce incentives to invest in the research and development of new discoveries for diseases – such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease – that disproportionately affect the elderly. This could have devastating consequences for millions of American patients and their families.
“We continue to believe that the Senate Finance Committee bill holds the most potential to improve the quality of care for all Americans. In the meantime, we will continue to play a constructive role in making sure that a health reform bill that is good for all Americans is enacted 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