Congress passed drug price controls, sends bill to Biden for signature

The US House of Representatives passed the Senate’s Inflation Reduction Act on Friday, by a party-line vote of 220-207. All Democrats voted in favor of the bill and all of the Republicans voted against the bill, Good Day BIO reports.

Good Day BIO argues that “the bill will allow the federal government to set prices on around 100 drugs over the next decade, which will reduce manufacturers’ revenues, leaving them with insufficient finances to spend on R&D.”

According to the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), the result of the adoption of this act will be “lost drugs and lost jobs.”

“Every credible analysis of the Inflation Reduction Act comes to the same conclusion: fewer cures for patients,” said BIO President and CEO Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath following the Senate’s passage of the bill last week.

Bio.News has previously reported that the same scenario happened in Europe. As a result of the price controls, the continent lost its biotech leadership, according to a recent report from Vital Transformation.

Japan has also seen a decrease of 70% in its share of worldwide value added in pharmaceuticals, according to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF).

What do experts say about drug price controls?

Ahead of the expected vote in Congress, John M. O’Brien, PharmD, MPH, President and CEO of the National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) wrote that “the elephant in the room is this: even as net prices for drugs remain flat, list prices for drugs are being driven higher because of the way our commercially insured market is currently designed.” This is especially true with regards to pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), the “middlemen” who decide which drugs are included on an insurance company’s formulary.

BIO’s Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath said last week that the price controls “are a major disservice to patients and researchers.”

“Looking forward, BIO has and will continue to advocate for pro-science policies that increase patient access to life-enhancing and life-saving treatments while also pushing the boundaries of medical innovation,” Dr. McMurry-Heath concluded.

What does the Inflation Reduction Act mean for the biotech sector?

The bill will be sent to President Joe Biden, and he is expected to sign it into law this week.

BIO analysts are trying to discover what this bill would mean for medical innovations and patients. BIO analysts are also trying to uncover whether the climate provisions incorporated in this bill, would have an effect on the agriculture and environment biotech sector.

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