Washington, D.C. (February 2, 2015) – Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) President and CEO John J. Castellani issued the following statement on President Barack Obama’s FY2016 budget proposal:
“While we support collaborative public and private efforts to advance biomedical research, the President’s budget includes harmful and misguided proposals that could undermine seniors’ access to care in the successful Medicare Parts D and B programs and would hinder the development of new, life-saving medicines for patients.
“The President’s budget contains harmful proposals that fundamentally alter the structure of the Medicare Part D program. Medicare Part D is a widely successful program, keeping costs low for both beneficiaries and taxpayers through plan competition and negotiation, while also helping to hold down other health care costs by improving adherence to needed medicines. The program has improved seniors’ access to medicines and kept premiums low, but the President’s proposals could jeopardize that access by driving up premiums, reducing choice and restricting coverage.
“The President’s proposal to reduce data protection for innovator biologics would reduce research and development investment in the U.S. resulting in lost jobs and slowed development of new treatments and cures for the most costly and challenging diseases.
“Further, discouraging or limiting patent settlements, as proposed, would increase the cost of patent enforcement and decrease the value of patent protection and incentives for taking the risks necessary to develop new medicines.
“Personalized medicine improves health outcomes and achieves efficiencies across the health care system by targeting the right medicines to the right patients. PhRMA continues to strongly support adequate federal funding for both the National Institutes of Health and for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Supplemented by user fees, the FDA funding will help ensure that the Agency has the resources necessary to advance regulatory sciences and support the expeditious review of innovative new medicines for the patients who need them.
“PhRMA and its member companies are committed to supporting the appropriate use of prescription medicines and working with other stakeholders to address their diversion, misuse and abuse. To meaningfully address this challenge, we continue to advocate for policies that improve the use and effectiveness of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs, expand efforts to identify and shut down pill mills, improve public and professional awareness, education and training around drug abuse, and encourage the development of abuse deterrent formulations.
“We look forward to working with the administration, as well as leaders on both sides of the aisle in Congress to promote continued medical innovation, while ensuring patients’ access to care.”
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 $550 billion in the search for new treatments and cures, including an estimated $51.1 billion in 2013 alone.
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