WASHINGTON, D.C. — With the introduction of the bipartisan We PAID Act of 2019, federal lawmakers are taking a stand today to assure drug companies set reasonable prices for prescription drugs funded with taxpayer investment. The We Protect American Investment in Drugs Act (We PAID), sponsored by Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Rick Scott (R-FL), would allow for the creation of an independent body representing taxpayers to engage the pharmaceutical industry on drug pricing and limit annual price increases when taxpayer-funded research leads to the creation of a new drug. In response to the news, David Mitchell, a cancer patient and the founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now, issued the following statement:
“The We PAID Act will help American patients get innovative new drugs supported by taxpayer investment while ensuring fair prices at the pharmacy counter. We are grateful for the leadership of Senators Chris Van Hollen and Rick Scott. As a patient with incurable cancer who lives with hope for a cure that will be in reach of all Americans, this legislation carries special significance.
“The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the world’s single largest funder of biomedical science supporting research and development of some of the most innovative and expensive drugs. New cell and gene therapies based on science paid for by taxpayers through the NIH are coming to market at prices ranging from $400,000 to more than $2 million — prices that are unsustainable.
“The We PAID Act aims to establish a process to ensure these new drugs not only are invented but are priced to maximize public health. We look forward to working for its enactment with members of Congress in both chambers.”
- Eighty percent of Americans say Congress’s top priority should be action to lower drug prices. (Politico)
- All of the 210 drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration from 2010-2016 were based on science funded by taxpayers through the NIH. (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences)
- Around 400 clinical trials are underway for gene therapies that will be used to treat much larger populations. (Alliance for Regenerative Medicine)
- A report by Patients For Affordable Drugs details how taxpayers invested at least $300 million into a potential cure for sickle cell disease and encourages the NIH to ensure final price accounts for public investment. (P4AD)