Senate to vote on drug price controls legislation

US Capitol Hill Congress government funding appropriations

The Senate is about to vote on a bill that would put limits on how much drugs can cost. According to a new Vital Transformation study, this would hurt future drug development.

According to The Washington Post, Senate Democrats apparently struck an agreement on August 4, which means that price controls may potentially be passed “as soon as this weekend.”

“Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) said she would soon be ready to ‘move forward’ on a revised version of the Senate Democrats’ health-care, climate and deficit-reduction package, opening the door for party lawmakers to adopt the long-stalled bill as soon as this weekend,” The Washington Post said.

Future treatments for cancer and Alzheimer’s are at risk

Price controls would impede future treatments, particularly for illnesses like cancer and Alzheimer’s, investors have explained.

“To attract capital, the highest-risk projects require the greatest future returns to cover expected losses. Even a modest drop in potential earnings could put biotech below the threshold for institutional investors, who can place their money in safer, more profitable industries,” wrote Forward Venture’s Standish Fleming in STAT News.

“And price controls will cause us to surrender in the fight against cancer,” wrote the House Ways and Means GOP, citing the recent University of Chicago study finding price controls would reduce annual cancer R&D spending by 31.8%.

Drug price controls will hurt the whole economy

So far, a number of trade and business groups have spoken out against the proposed price control legislation, saying that it would make it harder to come up with new drugs and eventually it will hurt the whole economy.

The latest one is the letter that the Council of State Bioscience Associations (CSBA) sent to the leadership of the House and Senate stating that planned drug price regulations will “devastate” innovation.

BIO has always been against the drug price control regulation being put into place.

“The legislation “would drastically reduce critical investment in innovative therapies and cures that patients depend on, at a time when smaller biotech companies are facing tremendous pressure in the capital markets,” said Nick Shipley, BIO EVP and Chief Advocacy Officer.

“The consequences will all but ensure that many potential groundbreaking cures die in labs. Patients, as a result, will be ill-equipped to combat a variety of debilitating illnesses with the scientific solutions that could significantly improve—or even save—their lives,” Shipley continued.

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