California’s Life Science Slams Drug Price Cap, Warns of Innovation Crisis
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California’s life science industry announced on Tuesday the devastating impact that federal price controls on pharmaceuticals would have on medical innovation.
This statement was made by Biocom California following the release of a list of the first ten drugs subject to price control under the Inflation Reduction Act by the Biden Administration.
According to Biocom’s President and CEO Joe Panetta, the new law enacted last year has led to significant drops in market value, reduced venture capital investments in life sciences startups, project cancellations, and increased employee layoffs.
Biocom California has consistently warned of the catastrophic consequences of price setting in the U.S., affecting the whole innovation ecosystem, he added.
The Inflation Reduction Act, signed by President Biden, allows Medicare to negotiate prices for some of its most expensive drugs.
“This is the start of a new era for patients,” said Biden at a White House event on Tuesday, adding that Americans often pay two to three times more than other countries for identical pharmaceuticals.
Once implemented, the prices of negotiated drugs will decrease for up to 9 million seniors who currently pay as much as $6,497 annually for these prescriptions, Biden added.
Medicare, mainly serving Americans aged 65 and over, pays twice as much for drugs as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which already negotiates drug prices.
The list includes leading blood thinner Eliquis from Bristol Myers Squibb and Pfizer, Eliquis rival Xarelto from Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co’s diabetes drug Januvia, AbbVie’s leukemia treatment Imbruvica, Amgen’s rheumatoid arthritis treatment Enbrel, Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly’s diabetes drug Jardiance, J&J’s arthritis and Crohn’s disease medicine Stelara, and insulin and the heart failure drug Entresto from Novo Nordisk.
Drugmakers’ shares were mixed on Monday afternoon with the NYSE Arca Pharmaceutical index around 0.4% up.
Panetta warns that fewer breakthrough medicines will be developed in coming decades due to these controls, directly affecting patients.
The legislation makes matters worse by not including provisions to control pharmacy benefit managers, not ensuring that manufacturer discounts reach patients.
“We urge the administration and Congress to focus on policies that would make medicines affordable for patients at the point of care,” he added.
Biocom, founded in San Diego, represents 1,700 life science industry members across the state.
Information from Reuters was used in this article.
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