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Statement By We Work For Health on State of the Union Address

Biden Administration should focus on fixing the IRA before its unintended consequences harm patients and workers.

Washington, DC (Feb. 8, 2023) – We Work For Health Co-Chairs Tom Kowalski and Rolf Benirschke released the following statement in response to President Biden’s State of the Union Address last night.

“We Work For Health shares the Biden Administration’s focus on affordable, high-quality healthcare for Americans, but last night’s State of the Union Address failed to recognize the impacts of the sweeping Inflation Reduction Act – unintended consequences that the Administration was warned about prior to the passing of the bill and that now stand to diminish the development of life-saving treatments for patients.

“Despite the best intentions of lawmakers, sweeping legislation has consequences that we are just starting to fully understand. The Inflation Reduction Act does little to address the real drivers of high out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs, including pharmacy benefit managers and insurer practices. Affordability, accessibility and innovation are inextricably linked, and it’s critical to focus on policies that support all three. Instead, the Inflation Reduction Act enables government price setting in Medicare and undermines the incentives that are in place to spur development of new treatments for hard-to-treat diseases, including cancer.

“The State of the Union stands as our annual benchmark for the issues facing the nation. As President Biden spoke proudly of the Inflation Reduction Act, the fact that multiple manufacturers have already made announcements to remove promising drugs from clinical trials didn’t get the attention it deserves. By disincentivizing drug development, the IRA will also impact jobs directly and indirectly supported by the biopharmaceutical industry.

“President Biden and the 118th Congress should work with urgency to fully understand the consequences of the legislation on jobs, development of new treatments, and patient access to them, and work with urgency to rectify them.”

About We Work For Health

We Work For Health (WWFH) is a coalition of partners that collaborates with biopharmaceutical research companies, vaccine manufacturers, their employees and local businesses to improve the health and well-being of patients. The program helps to support policies and initiatives that reinforce the delivery of lifesaving advances in medicine while also promoting the critical importance of high-paying jobs and the impact of the biopharmaceutical sector on national, state and local economies.


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