Weekly Policy Update: CBSA Urges Congress to Reject Proposals that Adopt Foreign Price Controls

CBSA is committed to ensuring patients have access to the treatments they need. We appreciate the bipartisan efforts underway by the Trump Administration and Congress to provide patients relief from high out-of-pocket costs, but we are deeply concerned about recent legislative proposals like H.R. 3 that aim to introduce international reference pricing and foreign price controls as a strategy to reduce prescription drug costs.

Foreign countries are able to pay less for drugs by denying access to certain therapies for many patients who need them. In the United States, patients have access to almost 90 percent of new drugs launched since 2011. In the countries that Congress is hoping to mirror with H.R. 3, 50 percent or fewer new therapies are made available to patients. And many times those patients have to wait years before those novel treatments are available. If the United States implemented foreign price controls, patient choice and patient access to innovative therapies would be severely limited.

These recent proposals also jeopardize the innovative biopharmaceutical sector in the United States, a sector that already takes on huge risks and significant investments. The suggestion of foreign price controls will scare away investment in the life sciences, and that money will go to an industry that is less risky and offers a greater return. Capital flowing out of the sector will quickly result in lack of innovation and fewer breakthrough treatments for patients.

In the coming weeks the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on H.R. 3, a proposal that would adopt the health care policies set by foreign countries that lead to fewer innovative medicines and restricted patient access.


Patients deserve access to the life-saving therapies of today and tomorrow.

Categories: CBSA News