WASHINGTON, D.C. — Patients For Affordable Drugs Now founder David Mitchell will issue an urgent call for passage of H.R. 3 today in testimony before the House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions. Mitchell, who depends on innovation and new drugs to stay alive in the face of an incurable blood cancer, will debunk Big Pharma’s false claims that any limits on its unilateral power to dictate prices on brand-name drugs will kill innovation and new drug development.
“Drugs are too expensive in the U.S. with no justification,” Mitchell will say at the hearing, titled Lower Drug Costs Now: Expanding Access To Affordable Health Care. “When drug makers hike prices each year, they don’t do so because the drug is more valuable. Drug companies raise prices simply because they can.”
H.R. 3 is a comprehensive bill that will lower prices, rein in price gouging, and reduce out-of-pocket costs by restoring balance to the U.S. drug pricing system to ensure both innovation and affordability.
“[H.R. 3] is estimated to save the government over $450 billion,” Mitchell will say. “Big Pharma complains that redeploying these savings to address other critical needs is tantamount to using the industry as a piggy bank. But in reality, it’s pharma that’s treated patients and taxpayers as piggy banks for years — raising prices at will to hit profit targets and trigger executive bonuses.”
Mitchell will explain that, contrary to pharmaceutical industry fear-mongering, there is room in the system to reduce drug prices without harming research and development; that taxpayers — not pharma — foot the bill for the high-risk, foundational science behind most valuable new drugs; and that H.R. 3 will not cut back on meaningful innovation or threaten early access to drugs.
“Let’s be clear: Big Pharma is not fighting for the interest of patients,” Mitchell will reiterate, pointing out that PhRMA’s CEO himself says that he is fighting “proposals adverse to the industry’s interests.”
“So you have to choose a side,” Mitchell will tell the committee. “Stand with patients and taxpayers. Or stand with pharma to protect ‘the industry’s interests.’”