Weekly Policy Update: CBSA Engages Congressional Delegation to Protect Life Sciences Innovation

CBSA continues to engage the Colorado Congressional delegation around an executive order that the President announced on July 24 that would limit payment for Medicare Part B drugs to the lowest price available in any “economically comparable” country. We are deeply concerned that this policy would import foreign price controls and in doing so, systematically undervalue innovation, restrict patient access, and reduce the incentive to invest in medicines.

We are in the midst of a global pandemic and our life sciences ecosystem is working at an unprecedented speed to develop testing, treatments, and vaccines for COVID-19. Precisely because of our country’s market-based system of competition and innovation, more than half of the drug programs that have launched to fight COVID-19 originated here in the U.S. and roughly 70% of them are from small biopharmaceutical companies that rely heavily on private capital investment to continue their R&D.  At the very time when these companies are aggressively developing vaccines and therapies, the President is issuing an executive order that would chill our scientific progress, disrupt providers’ ability to provide care, and increase barriers to patient access.

Adopting foreign price controls in the U.S. would also diminish America’s leadership in medical research and development and reduce global development altogether. While we agree that other countries should pay their fair share for global innovation, the U.S. should pursue that goal through trade agreements and other appropriate avenues. We should export our market-based, innovation-supporting system, not import the problems associated with these foreign, government-mandated healthcare restrictions.

Today the Executive Director of the Council for State Bioscience Associations, a confederation of 46 state bioscience associations across the country including CBSA, sent a letter to the President expressing our strong opposition to the executive order and urging him not to move forward with this model or any similar price control schemes. The letter has been shared with several members of our delegation, as we ask for their support to defeat this harmful proposal.

According to the President’s July 24 announcement, the policy will become effective on Monday, August 24.

CBSA continues to work with our delegation, as well as national and state industry partners, to push back against this executive order. We will update our community on any new developments.

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