SAN DIEGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Biocom, the association representing the life science industry of California, issued the following statement regarding the passage of H.R.3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, in the House of Representatives today. The statement can be attributed to Joe Panetta, Biocom’s president and CEO:
“It’s a sad day for patients that the House today passed legislation that threatens America’s life science industry. Our industry heavily invests in research and development and brings life-saving treatments and cures to millions of patients in need – more than any other country’s industry in the world. H.R.3 naively imports foreign price controls from countries with very different health systems and imposes incredibly severe penalties on American innovators.
“Several studies on the impact of H.R.3 all found that the bill would lower the number of drugs available to patients in the future, including from the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) and the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) itself. Undeveloped treatments could result in higher long-term costs to the health care system and decreased life expectancy.
“According to the Vital Transformation study that we commissioned, H.R.3 will lead to an 88 percent reduction in new medicines developed by small California biotech companies. If H.R.3 had been in effect from 2009 to 2019, it is projected that California’s emerging companies would have brought only three new drugs to market, instead of 25. This could mean the difference between life and death for many individuals awaiting treatments, especially in higher risk and small population therapeutic areas.
“California, which leads the world in the research and development of innovative medicines and is a vital contributor to the state’s economy, would be uniquely and disproportionally harmed by the bill. An estimated 24,000 jobs could be lost in California alone. Currently, our state’s 11,725 life science establishments directly employ 428,283 people in all parts of the state.
“While we believe that no patients should be unable to afford the medications they need and have strongly advocated to reduce out-of-pocket costs, we are extremely disappointed that the House of Representatives today put politics over patients by voting for legislation that will never become law.
“As we have expressed before, we stand ready to work with the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the Trump Administration to enact reasonable, balanced and bi-partisan proposals that will make a true difference in what patients pay at the pharmacy counter. We will not succeed if we do not bring to the table all the stakeholders that determine health care costs, including innovators, payors, pharmacy benefit managers (PBM) and the government.”
Biocom is the largest, most experienced leader and advocate for California’s life science sector. We work on behalf of more than 1,200 members to drive public policy, build an enviable network of industry leaders, create access to capital, introduce cutting-edge STEM education programs, and create robust value-driven purchasing programs.
Founded in 1995 in San Diego, Biocom provides the strongest public voice to research institutions and companies that fuel the local and state-wide economy. Our goal is simple: to help our members produce novel solutions that improve the human condition. In addition to our San Diego headquarters, Biocom operates core offices in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, satellite offices in Washington, D.C. and Tokyo, and has a continuous staff presence in Sacramento. Our broad membership benefits apply to biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device, genomics and diagnostics companies of all sizes, as well as to research universities and institutes, clinical research organizations, investors and service providers.