Letter to the Editor: Proposed Law Would Slow Innovations in Pharmaceutical Industry


As a senior, I am well aware that we must find a way to lower the cost of prescription drugs. But I am also strongly opposed to government price controls on prescription medications that limit innovation and will result in less access and development of cutting edge medications.

HR 3, the legislation promoted by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, imposes draconian government price controls on prescription drugs and does more harm than good. This ill-conceived legislation reduces the private investment in research and will reduce access to innovative treatments and medications that many people with chronic and serious conditions need.

On top of that, the money saved by HR 3 does not get passed on directly to patients. Furthermore, we are on the verge of many breakthrough cures for cancers, Alzheimer's, hepatitis, cystic fibrosis and other terrible diseases, and this legislation stifles investment and slows that path.

If strict price control measures are enacted, the biopharmaceutical industry would be forced to make drastic cuts to its investment in the research and development of new medicines. Congress should instead consider legislation like that proposed by Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers from Spokane. What she has proposed gets the government out of the way, which could solve a lot of the issues that result in higher drug prices.

Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers’ approach lowers costs and encourages lifesaving new cures and innovation. It also provides a first-ever out-of-pocket cap for seniors in Medicare Part D, empowers patients with more drug price transparency and removes uncertainty at the pharmacy counter. It cuts the cost of cancer treatment and other drug administration for Medicare beneficiaries by as much as half.

Finally, it enables strong, pro-America trade agreements to end American subsidizing of other developed countries’ health care. McMorris Rodgers’ approach strikes a balance by lowering drug prices to those that need it most and preserves biopharmaceutical innovation.

Congress must lower prescription drug costs but not at the expense of giving Americans access to the innovative cures currently delivered by the biopharmaceutical industry.


Colleen Morse