PhRMA Statement on the State of the Union Address

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 7, 2023) – The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) President and CEO Stephen J. Ubl released the following statement following President Biden’s State of the Union address:

“Tonight, President Biden laid out his vision for the nation, including his ongoing commitment to the cancer moonshot and making medicines more affordable.

“We’re eager to work with the president on these important priorities. America’s biopharmaceutical companies are global leaders in innovation, and no other industry can develop the treatments and cures we need to win the fight against cancer, as well as Alzheimer’s, ALS and other devastating diseases.

“The Inflation Reduction Act took steps to reduce out-of-pocket costs in Medicare. Unfortunately, it also put in place policies that are already impacting the research and development we need to achieve some of the goals President Biden laid out. The government price setting provisions in the law are forcing companies to make difficult choices, including shifting focus away from certain types of medicines and discouraging the research that takes place after medicines are first approved – threatening the very research that remains critical to improving outcomes for cancer and other diseases.

“The law also didn’t address problems in the broader health care system that drive up people’s costs at the pharmacy. Capping the costs of insulin helps some patients – especially those who aren’t benefiting from the average 84% discount insurers and their middlemen get for insulin – but it leaves behind many others. It’s a band-aid on a broken system that’s forcing people to pay more for medicines than health insurers and pharmacy benefit managers pay.

“Fortunately, there is growing public and policymaker interest in addressing these broader systemic challenges, especially those that lead to higher out-of-pocket costs at the pharmacy. We look forward to working with the president and other policymakers on solutions that can help lower costs for all patients and protect the innovation they so desperately need.”

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