Press Release

Statement to State of the Union Address

PhRMA February 14, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 13, 2013) – Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Senior Vice President Matthew Bennett issued the following statement today:

“The President has again proposed to upend the successful Medicare Part D prescription drug program by imposing government price controls on it.  The facts about Part D are simple and do not support this radical proposal: Part D succeeds for seniors and taxpayers because it’s built on effective competition and the savings negotiated by large powerful private plans—the same plans used by private employers and insurers—on behalf of seniors and taxpayers. 

“The proof is in Part D’s performance.  Part D is now 45% below the cost originally expected, and last week, while reducing Part D’s 10-year projected cost by over $100 billion for the third consecutive year, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office pointed out that Part D is the single biggest factor responsible for lower Medicare spending projections. Seniors’ Part D premiums have been flat at about $30 per month—less than half the level originally projected—for the last three years. Moreover, CBO has now found that more use of medicines saves money on other health care services; Harvard researchers estimate Part D reduced Medicare spending on hospital care by $13 billion just in its first full year of implementation, savings not even factored into the cost estimate showing that Part D has been remarkably successful in holding down costs.

“The President’s proposal to tamper with a program that works well would not yield any benefit for seniors. Instead, analysts have projected that the President’s scheme would harm Part D’s competitive dynamics, yielding higher premiums, more restrictive access to medicines, and diminished research on the next generation of medicines.  

“In his speech tonight, the President recognized the enormous human and economic value of biomedical research, and the extraordinary importance of developing new medicines.  We urge the Administration to reconsider its proposals in the same speech to impose punitive policies on the biopharmaceutical research sector, which invents new medicines. The biopharmaceutical sector is one of the most R&D-intensive sectors in the entire economy, accounting for the single largest share - 20% - of research & development funding among all U.S. businesses, according to the National Science Foundation. R&D is critical to the country’s long term economic growth and to important medical advances that improve quality of life.  Biopharmaceutical sector R&D investment should be fostered, not singled out for destructive policies."

About PhRMA

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading innovative biopharmaceutical research and biotechnology 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 over $500 billion in the search for new treatments and cures, including an estimated $49.5 billion in 2011 alone.

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