Washington, D.C. (February 11, 2009) — Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Senior Vice President Ken Johnson issued the following statement today regarding the economic stimulus package and comparative clinical effectiveness research:
“PhRMA supports moving forward with initiatives to facilitate well-designed comparative clinical effectiveness research. The comparative clinical effectiveness language in the Senate economic stimulus package is an important step forward because it focuses on helping to enhance patient health and improve the quality of health care in the U.S.
“PHRMA has been working with Congress in a constructive, bipartisan way to ensure that the proposed $1.1 billion in CER funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides high-quality information that will be useful to patients and their health care providers as they make decisions about which medical options are best for the individual, without shifting those decisions to a centralized government agency. The Senate provisions include important protections needed to assure that the research will be used to benefit patients.
“For years, PhRMA has supported well-designed comparative clinical effectiveness research as one tool that can help achieve the best medical decision-making. In fact, a key element in PhRMA’s health reform platform is the use of comparative clinical research for better patient outcomes. Simply put, we agree with AARP in advocating on behalf of research that 'could save your life by giving your doctors better information so they can prescribe the best treatments available to you.' Such research must focus on medical outcomes, rather than cost-effectiveness analysis that has a long track record of being used to deny patients needed care.
“PhRMA has long been supportive of policies that put patients’ needs first. Most recently, we supported reauthorization of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, which was recently signed into law by President Obama, because it is important step toward our goal of health coverage for all Americans.
“The focus of this debate should be on putting patients’ needs first. Ultimately, patients in America deserve access to the medicines that are right for them and access to the medical advances that are making important strides against disease , as determined by clinical evaluations and the judgment of their physicians.
"We look forward to working with members of Congress as a long-term framework for comparative clinical effectiveness research is established, following the short-term appropriation of funds by the stimulus bill."
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. PhRMA companies are leading the way in the search for new cures. PhRMA members alone invested an estimated $44.5 billion in 2007 in discovering and developing new medicines. Industry-wide research and investment reached a record $58.8 billion in 2007.
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