Send this article to a friend:


Biden’s Coming for Your Cures
Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY)

As 2024 presidential election cycle kicks into high gear, it is important to note that we all share the goal of making prescription drugs more affordable for hard-working Americans and their families. Policy solutions can achieve both lowering the cost of everyday prescription medications while promoting access to future innovation for vulnerable patients.

Recent data shows net prices for branded drugs, the most expensive therapies, have steadily declined since 2017. This data shows that more targeted solutions are needed to truly lower the costs of everyday medications and continue to promote access to innovative products. Unfortunately, President Biden has resorted to price controls and removing incentives for innovation by taking the intellectual property of innovators. These actions also ignore his own stated goals outlined in his Cancer Moonshot, that I strongly share, as well as bipartisan solutions in Congress that could be signed into law today.

Biden’s policies are comparatively in direct conflict with this bipartisan spirit and even contradict with his own Cancer Moonshot objectives. Ultimately, by removing incentives to invest in new research areas, patients’ health and well-being will be negatively impacted.

Here are just a few examples. The president first caved to the temptations of big government and signed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). This sweeping legislation finally gave Washington liberals what they’ve wanted for nearly two decades: price controls. Despite flashing red lights that the bill would lead to significant decreases in research and development of critical drugs, including one such study indicating it would lead to as many as 342 fewer cures from 2021-2039, the president marched forward.

But Biden didn’t stop there. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services later announced it would enact a host of changes to the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program, the vehicle that sets drug prices in Medicaid. In this quietly proposed rule, Biden took aim at manufacturers providing access to life-saving therapies to vulnerable patients on Medicaid. The rule leaves innovators with a lose-lose decision, accept whatever price Medicaid programs will pay for a drug or risk having proprietary information being compromised by the government’s requirement for the information to be posted publicly online for refusing to accept the original government price.

Most recently, Biden decided to invoke the Bayh-Dole Act to drive “more competition” in the prescription drug marketplace using levers that were only designed to be used in limited circumstances. Again, the government is forcing companies that have taken any federal funding to surrender their intellectual property to “competitors” in the spirit of lowering drug costs and driving competition.

This is not just partisan hyperbole. The evidence is growing that Biden’s policies are stifling pharmaceutical innovation that is unique to the United States and gives American patients access to drugs that aren’t easily accessible across other developed nations. A recent U.S. Chamber of Commerce study showed the Inflation Reduction Act could lead to a 60 percent reduction in research and development in novel cancer drugs. This study comes after the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies already announced that they’re halting investments in certain pipelines given the uncertainty caused by the IRA.

Over the past year, the House has worked to lower the costs of pharmaceuticals for everyday Americans. This work culminated in the recently passed the bipartisan Lower Costs, More Transparency Act that will help bring down costs at the pharmacy counter for most Americans through patient-friendly price transparency policies. We also examined solutions that will ensure seniors aren’t paying more for a drug than what it cost their insurer to acquire the drug, as well as give seniors access to lower-cost drugs, like biosimilars, if they come to market during a plan year.

I urge the president to work across the aisle alongside Congress to make prescription drugs more affordable without retreating on our shared visions of finding cures to previously incurable diseases. The American people deserve better and House Republicans will give them the options to do so.





Brett Guthrie represents Kentucky’s 2nd District and is chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee.

Send this article to a friend: