WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 12, 2018) – Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) president and CEO Stephen J. Ubl issued the following statement on President Donald Trump’s FY2019 budget request:
“We share President Trump’s goal of making medicines more affordable and accessible for patients. We applaud the president for proposing to give seniors in Medicare Part D access to negotiated savings at the pharmacy counter, which is an important step that would lower out-of-pocket costs and make it easier for seniors to access the medicines they need. At the same time, we have concerns with other elements of the budget request which appear to limit access to innovative medicines and erode market-based systems in Medicare Part D and Part B.
“We look forward to engaging with the Administration in the days ahead to ensure any changes to Part D strengthen the program for patients. Congress should repeal the harmful Part D changes in the recent budget deal and instead pursue additional reforms to improve affordability and predictability for seniors, such as adding an out-of-pocket maximum as called for in the president’s budget request.
“We are also pleased that the budget request includes additional market-based proposals to address misaligned incentives in the system and recognizes further changes are needed to the 340B program. In addition, we support an ongoing focus on fighting the prescription opioid crisis.
“As a result of competition and negotiation in the market, medicine costs are growing at their slowest rate in years – just 1.5 percent last year, according to the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit manager. Yet despite this slowdown, patients’ out-of-pocket costs for medicines continue to skyrocket. We are committed to working with the president and Congress to advance market-based policies to lower costs for patients and enable the United States to continue to lead the world in medical innovation.”
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 $600 billion in the search for new treatments and cures, including an estimated $65.5 billion in 2016 alone.