Subcommittee hearing comes at a critical time on policies that negatively impact medical innovation and patient access to therapies
Washington, DC (May 9, 2023) – We Work For Health Co-Chairs Tom Kowalski and Rolf Benirschke released the following statement ahead of the U.S. House Ways & Means Subcommittee on Health hearing on May 10 that has been charged with examining policies that will have negative effects on medical innovation and reduce patient access to critical therapies.
“Patients rely on their government to support policies that enable private industry to continue developing lifesaving medicines and that promote the critical importance of high-paying jobs within healthcare-related industries. The biopharmaceutical industry plays an essential and unique role in advancing these goals. WWFH believes the U.S. House Ways & Means Subcommittee on Health is taking a crucial step in examining policies that may hinder medical innovation, related economic development and, ultimately, patient access to lifesaving therapies.
“Critically, Congress must recognize the fallout from previously supported policies that have had unintended consequences. Where such flawed policies exist, WWFH is hopeful that Congress will take steps to correct such flaws while preventing future flawed policies from coming to fruition. Specifically, we are hopeful that Congress will preserve incentives for small molecule research. Under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), biologics have a 13-year period before the government can intervene and begin imposing price controls, but small molecule drugs are limited to nine years prior to negotiation. This discrepancy will lead to a reduction in investment in small molecule drugs.
“As committee members prepare for the hearing, we urge them to take into account the existing unintended consequences of the IRA – and to ensure similar policies are not supported before the consequences of the current law can be fully understood and corrected.
“Now is the time to take the necessary steps to prevent the proliferation of flawed policies and, if possible, reverse the unintended consequences of policies that negatively impact innovation and access to lifesaving medications. We commend the committee for holding this important hearing. We stand ready to work with Congress to find solutions to support affordability, accessibility and patient-centered innovation.”
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.