Floridians would have less access to medication under Pelosi’s drug plan


US Representative Greg Steube

My constituents remain concerned about what they pay for prescription drugs, and while my Republican colleagues in Congress have proposed legislation that directly and effectively tackles this problem, some policies are under consideration – like HR 3 of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – threaten to restrict patient access to drugs and cut the US pipeline for innovative research and development.

Last year I discussed the horrible issues with HR 3, and a year later they are more urgent than ever. The ongoing budget reconciliation process aims to establish price controls on prescription drugs by linking a minimum of 25 widely used drugs to an international price index and to institute discount structures within Medicare, Parts B and D.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of the US biopharmaceutical industry and its ability to rapidly develop new drugs. As our country continues to meet the challenges presented by the pandemic, we cannot afford to adopt policies that promote government encroachment, discourage future innovation, erode America’s sovereignty by using standards. international awards and allow China to fill the remaining research and development void.

HR 3 would do just that; if it were implemented, we would be woefully unprepared for future health crises.

HR 3 and the budget reconciliation process would allow the government to price prescription drugs with little information from biopharmaceutical manufacturers. This kind of blatant government overshoot would prevent biopharmaceutical companies from recovering their investments. And this kind of government “negotiation” on the price of drugs would lead in practice to making American patients lose access to life-saving treatments.

Many of my constituents rely on prescription drugs every day to treat or manage chronic illnesses. Many are living with illnesses that do not yet have a cure. There are policies that are currently being discussed that would prevent the discovery of new remedies or reduce access to existing drugs.

It is simply unacceptable.

While US pharmaceutical companies have been able to seize the opportunity and rapidly produce COVID-19 treatments thanks to critical government funding, the research and development of breakthrough drugs is an arduous process that often ends in failure. .

On average, it takes around $ 2.8 billion and over a decade to develop a new drug – and only a small fraction of drugs that pass Phase I testing by the Food and Drug Administration are approved. HR 3 and the budget reconciliation process would reduce the already low number of innovative medicines reaching patients.

Policies like HR 3 that use government pricing would make biopharmaceutical companies that develop innovative therapies – to fight cancer, new COVID variants, Alzheimer’s disease and other diseases – opportunities to less attractive investment for investors who generate most research and development funding.

Without this funding, future biopharmaceutical innovations would become unaffordable and unattainable dreams, hurting the very patients my congressional colleagues say they want to help.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, patients will have access to nearly 40 fewer drugs over the next 30 years if HR 3 is adopted. Vital Transformation estimates that under this legislation, small emerging biotech companies would develop more than 60 fewer drugs over the next 10 years. We cannot undermine vulnerable patient groups and medical innovation by stopping America’s breakthrough drug development pipeline.

Americans have access to 90% of all new drugs launched since 2011. However, due to excessive price controls by the government, patients in France, Switzerland and Canada only have access to 50%, 48 % and 46% of new drugs. , respectively. My constituents, many of whom are seniors, cannot afford to lose access to essential medicines for their health and well-being.

Instead of imposing price controls that will only stifle innovation, we should tackle the perverse incentives that make drug reimbursement so inefficient and rob patients of discounts and other savings meant to cut spending. personal. Most Americans oppose government price negotiations that would sacrifice research into future innovations or limit patient access to new drugs.

HR 3 and its inclusion in the budget reconciliation process is a step in the wrong direction. There are other more appropriate legislative solutions that we should seek that prioritize innovation without compromising our constituents’ access to life-saving treatments.

It’s time to act: Floridians and Americans across the country deserve a solution that won’t deny them access to life-saving prescription drugs.

U.S. Representative Greg Steube represents Florida’s 17th Congressional District. He is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Judiciary Committee.


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