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Statement of America's Specialty Medicines Companies On House Health Care Bill (H.R. 3962)

Saturday, November 7, 2009 General News J E 4
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 6 America's Specialty Medicines Companies (ASMC), an informal working group of mid-market and smaller innovator pharmaceutical companies, today expressed concerns about H.R. 3962, the "Affordable Health Care for America Act," introduced by House Democrats last Thursday. These smaller companies fear that the cumulative effect of a host of provisions in H.R. 3962 will hinder their efforts to bring new medicines to market.

From required rebates to mandated discounts to new regulations, H.R. 3962 repeatedly raises new barriers for small companies seeking to fund life-saving research. Unlike larger companies, smaller companies typically must use cash generated from the sale of their own products for research. Unfortunately, the bill starves them of those necessary revenues. Its new burdens will damage the viability of small companies, and ultimately, put at risk the health of future patients who need medicines that smaller companies are more likely to develop.

Smaller companies generate much of the innovation in the pharmaceutical industry. Their work ranges over the entire spectrum from drugs for some of the most common diseases like cancer and diabetes to those for smaller, underserved populations with rare diseases. Without smaller companies' investment in the research and development of breakthrough products, many patients would go without any effective treatment. In many cases, these very treatments contain costs by eliminating the need for more expensive care.

"Small pharmaceutical companies often bring needed specialty medications to market when no one else will. Unfortunately, H.R. 3962 would stifle that innovation and prevent those efforts. Ultimately, the patients who need these medicines will suffer most," said Steve Cannon, an attorney representing ASMC.

But the damage runs deeper. H.R. 3962 will cut off small drug companies' ability to bring drugs developed overseas to the U.S. market as well. Small companies frequently license U.S. rights to those drugs, conduct U.S. clinical trials on them, and seek U.S. approval of them. Much of that economic activity would stop under H.R. 3962 - hurting the U.S. economy, killing U.S. jobs, and depriving U.S. patients of needed drugs.

Despite our concerns, ASMC looks forward to continuing to work with Congress to produce health care legislation that will produce better care and better drugs for all Americans.

SOURCE America's Specialty Medicines Companies
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