San Diego biotech allies warn drug pricing bill stifles cures

San Diego’s biotechnology industry and allies are opposed to legislation that would allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices.

Bill HR3 was to be an important part of President Biden’s $ 3.5 trillion economic recovery plan. This allows the federal government to negotiate drug prices, ensuring that US drug prices do not exceed 120% of the average price across Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom.

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, approximately 63 million Americans are eligible for Medicare.

Proponents say the proposal is common sense and has been postponed for a long time, but critics warn that it will prevent companies from recovering the cost of developing life-saving drugs.

D-San Diego’s Congressman Scott Peters is one of the few Democrats in the House of Representatives to join the latter camp. He warns that the proposal will hurt the economy of San Diego, one of the top biotechnology hubs in the United States, and ultimately hurt patients.

“It’s not just about continuing to work in San Diego,” he said. “It’s really about creating treatments for these and illnesses.”

Peters voted against HR3 at the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday, proposing a more modest alternative instead. His plan would be to limit the out-of-pocket costs of older people according to their income and limit the cost of insulin for $ 50 per month. Other provisions will penalize companies that raise drug prices faster than recent inflation and allow price negotiations on a limited subset of drugs.

“It’s not the decapitation of the industry, it’s the nature of haircuts,” says Peters.

While he is independent, he estimates that his plans will generate $ 200 billion in savings. Congressional Budget Office HR3’s Medicare pricing will save about $ 450 billion over the next decade.

Peters, one of the three Democrats of the Energy and Commerce Commission who opposes the bill, prevented the bill from leaving the commission, but the bill was by the House Energy and Commerce Commission, which also oversees health policy. approved. Some critics have accused Peters of voting, claiming that it was no coincidence that he received about $ 425,000 from lobbyists in the pharmaceutical industry since Peters took office. OpenSecrets, A non-profit research group that tracks the role of money in politics.

“It’s a shame that Congressmen Peters, Rice and Schroeder turned their backs on patients and bid for Big Pharma against the will of voters in the district,” said the founder of patient advocacy and lobbying organizations. David Mitchell said. Affordable drug patients Now in a statement released Monday.

Meanwhile, the pharmaceutical industry has clearly and consistently criticized HR3 since it was first introduced in 2019. Joe Panetta, CEO of Biocom California, a San Diego-based trading group, represents 1,400 life sciences companies across the state. The industry says it welcomes various approaches to lowering drug prices, from Peters’ proposed cap on out-of-pocket costs to incentives to encourage the development of generic drugs. But he says, deciding US drug prices based on what other countries pay will backfire.

“In these countries, few innovative drugs used for reference prices have been developed,” he said. “There’s a reason, and it will take longer for patients in those countries to have access to these innovative drugs.”

Panetta et al. Point out that the basic research required to discover and develop new drugs is risky, time-consuming and costly.An estimate of exactly how much it will cost, but the Journal of the American Medical Association study 355 approved drugs He reported that it usually costs about $ 1 billion to bring a new drug to market.

That number includes the cost of all the experimental drugs the company worked on, but it wasn’t. It works. Industry proponents argue that they need to charge enough to make up for many of these failures, and warn that innovation will be compromised otherwise.

But Rachel Sachs, a health policy and drug law expert at Washington University in St. Louis, believes the debate is exaggerated.

“They are against even the smallest reforms, so it’s difficult to have a really evidence-based conversation about what’s happening here,” she said. “As the industry tells us, we know they are profiting at the prices they charge in other countries.”

Sax acknowledges that HR3 is likely to reduce the number of drugs on the market. However, she points out that the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the bill will reduce the number of drugs approved in the next decade by eight from 300 to 292.

“If you’re talking about a sixth or seventh drug in an already crowded class, how much clinical benefit does it bring to the patient?” She said. “It’s a different situation than if the drug we lost was a top-notch breakthrough drug, and pharmaceutical companies said that the drug they would stop innovating was in the latter class. there is not.”

This is controversial about national influence, but it has special implications in San Diego. The booming life sciences industry in the region accounts for 68,000 jobs and is one of the largest industries in the country, directly and indirectly supporting a total of 175,000 jobs. Biocom’s latest report.. Trade associations estimate that the county’s biotechnology community generated $ 41.3 billion in economic activity in 2019.

On Wednesday, commercial real estate company Jones Lang LaSalle San Diego Rank The third largest biotechnology industry in Japan after Boston and the San Francisco Bay Area. This is the same ranking that JLL gave to the region in 2020.

Most local biotechnology is small and does not yet have drugs on the market. Persephone Biosciences, which has less than 10 employees, is no exception. Torrey Pines is using artificial intelligence to identify a mixture of gut microbiota that improves response to vaccines and anti-cancer drugs in the hope of developing probiotic therapies.

However, despite the fierce debate over drug prices, Persephone CEO Stephanie Culler does not believe the results will have a significant impact on her company.

“Our R & D is much cheaper than large pharmaceutical companies, so you don’t have to worry too much about pricing,” says Color. “Throughout the approval process, you never have the opportunity to spend $ 1 billion to get a drug.”

San Diego biotech allies warn drug pricing bill stifles cures Source link San Diego biotech allies warn drug pricing bill stifles cures

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