The Alliance

Statement on Sen. Rick Scott’s International Drug-Pricing Proposal

April 1, 2019 9:21 am

Washington, DC—The Alliance to Protect Medical Innovation’s Executive Director Patrick O’Connor released the following statement on new drug-pricing legislation introduced by Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.):


“There’s clear evidence of what happens when foreign governments set drug prices—patients aren’t able to access well-established cures, and that drives up overall health-care costs. We shouldn’t repeat the mistakes of other countries and create a system of rationing when American citizens are used to having a wide array of medicines available to them. We hope Congress doesn’t lose sight of the importance of patient access and rejects this proposal to peg prices to those in foreign countries.”


Sen. Scott’s bill, the Transparent Drug Pricing Act, would cap prices for prescription drugs to what is charged in other industrialized nations like Great Britain and Canada. As part of a major ad campaign, Patients for Affordable Drugs Now—an advocacy group funded by the John and Laura Arnold Foundation—is also pushing for the U.S. government to adopt an International Pricing Index, which would tie Medicare drug prices to prices in other countries, despite opposition from the majority of patients and patient groups.


These proposals would wreak havoc on medical care. Patients in America have access to more drugs than consumers overseas, and we get these life-saving medications into the hands of medical professionals more quickly.


In an earlier blog post, the Alliance flagged the comments of American Action Forum’s Deputy Director of Health Care Policy Tara O’Neill Hayes, who “said – unequivocally – that the IPI model would reduce access to life-saving and life-enhancing medications. Hayes noted the 14 countries CMS has proposed using in its model have, on average, access to just 48 percent of the new drugs developed in the past eight years. Hayes also explained it took these countries about 16 months longerto get the medicines it does have on the market.”


The Alliance to Protect Medical Innovation is a nonpartisan group committed to fostering a national conversation on medical innovation and patient access to care that is holistic and fact-based. The Alliance evaluates policy proposals and fact-checks claims affecting biomedical innovation, as well as responds to attacks on this innovation ecosystem. We are committed to preserving the pipeline of breakthrough medicines that reduce costs within the health care system and help people live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. The Alliance receives funding from biopharmaceutical companies and other entities that represent the industry.