The Alliance

The Weekly Dose | 11.22.19

November 22, 2019 2:35 pm

We know lawmakers track how proposed policies are playing back home, so we are certain South Carolina’s representatives saw the following letter from Sandy Royer, a mother whose daughter suffers from POTS, gastroparesis, and celiac disease. In case you missed it, though, here is what Royer has to say about H.R. 3, the House’s prescription-drug legislation:


“[M]edical researchers are finding new treatments every day. Progress is even being made on my daughter’s conditions, and we hope every day for the next life-changing medication. But I fear that under Speaker Pelosi’s new bill, … we may be waiting much longer. The legislation, however well intended, threatens to slow the development of new medicines by undermining the $100 billion invested in research and development each year. … Our researchers are some of the most talented scientists in the world, and I don’t want to lose them or undermine their work, which is also likely to happen if Speaker Pelosi’s passes into law. There are other ways to lower out-of-pocket costs for patients at the pharmacy counter, and Congress should explore those before embracing such a drastic measure.”


Well said. If you need more info for a story, or have questions, please email us. We look forward to working with you.



Patrick O’Connor – Executive Director

Rosemarie Calabro Tully – Communications Director





APMI Executive Director Patrick O’Connor appeared in New Jersey’s Burlington County Times and the Delaware State News explaining the truth about drug prices and the drawbacks of House legislation.




- Why are #hospitals using stents and bypass surgeries when drugs are just as effective? Perhaps it’s because “hospitals and device makers make a lot of money from them.” @Axios’ @caitlinnowens looks at the other players driving up #healthcare costs, here: Click here to RT.


- Noting the loss of about 2,600 jobs and over $740M in annual economic output, @RepAdrianSmith was right when he described the measures intended to control prescription #drugprices as “disastrous for Nebraska and its residents.” Hat-tip to @rrnmarkets Click here to RT.  


- While nearly 50% of U.S. adults have some type of #cardiovascular disease, our researchers haven't quit searching for a solution. @American_Heart’s ‘outside-the-box’ solution is a prime example of why “secondary” #innovation is so important to #patients. Click here to RT.




Check out and share on Twitter our latest blog posts:


- Shifting Rhetoric Hurts American Workers … and Patients. Bashing the U.S. biopharmaceutical industry has become a popular pastime for politicians and, according to a new Boston Globe article, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) evolving rhetoric is proof of that trend. Here’s how it all hurts the U.S. economy and American patients. Click here to read the full blog post.


- ITIF Paper: Price Controls Reduce Innovation. The United States always has been the global innovator in the search for new cures. But if price controls are put into effect, we will quickly lose our lead. We look at a new Information Technology and Innovation Foundation paper, which explains why. Click here to read the full blog post. Share on Twitter here.


- Insurers, Hospitals And The Price Of Drugs. Why are hospitals fighting against mandatory price disclosure? They say it’s a risky and onerous endeavor, but when 83 percent of hospitals inflate drug prices by 200 percent and nearly one-fifth inflate by more than 700 percent, we think it may be worth a try. Click here to read the full blog post. Share on Twitter here.




- Institute For Clinical And Economic Review’s Model Has “Three Fundamental Flaws.” In a letter to the editor in The Wall Street Journal, economist Jason Shafrin explains the methodology used by the Arnold-funded ICER has “three fundamental flaws. First, ICER measures benefits and costs only from the health-care-sector perspective and often ignores benefits that accrue to other stakeholders. … Second, people place higher values on health gains for certain patients, such as young children and patients with severe disease, like cancer. Finally, if the U.S. government were to adopt ICER’s recommendations as a centralized pricing mechanism, this could result in a world where it is increasingly difficult for patients to access treatments considered low-value for the average patient.”


- Biotech Venture Capitalists Warn Against H.R. 3. STAT News reports “A group of top biotech venture capitalists are issuing a stark warning to Congress: They won’t be able to pour money into biotech research if Democrats’ signature drug-pricing bill becomes law. ‘If policies such as those included within H.R. 3 … are passed, our ability to continue to invest in future biomedical innovation will be severely constrained, thus crushing the hopes of millions of patient waiting for the next breakthroughs,’ the letter states.”


- Does The Federal Government Create New Prescription Drugs? As we have said, no it does not. In a new blog post, PhRMA also addresses the claim that taxpayers fund drug development. Dr. Richard Moscicki explains, “While the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has as its primary function to advance basic science and identify ideas for therapeutic pathways, it is biopharmaceutical companies that take on the risk to confirm and translate these early findings into therapies for patients. A recent analysis of this interdependent research ecosystem showed that the private sector contributed to 58% of discovery milestones, 73% of development milestones and 81% of manufacturing milestones of the most transformational medicines in the past 25 years vs. the public sector.”


- Once Well-Capitalized Biotechs Are Struggling. Why? In Fortune, Megan Blewett, Bob Kocher, and Bobby Shady explain that “while the general public is increasingly aware of the growing toll of antimicrobial resistance, few outside the biotech community are aware of this other, commercial crisis facing the antibiotic sector.” According to the writers, “successful” antibiotics companies are finding themselves “in commercially untenable situations.” Why? The writers conclude it “boils down to two problems facing new antibiotics: low volumes and low price points.” Meanwhile, BioPharma Dive reported this week that “31 troubled biopharma companies that are at highest risk of going bankrupt in the next 12 months.”


- Hope For Migraine Sufferers, Individuals Living With Schizophrenia, And Rare Disease. CNN reports “A large clinical trial found Allergan PLC’s new migraine treatment, ubrogepant, could be successful in reducing pain in people with migraines, according to a study published in JAMA.” Meanwhile, according to STAT News, Boston-based biotech Karuna Therapeutics has said a “novel combination pill achieved the main goal of a mid-stage clinical trial by reducing the acute psychosis and related symptoms experienced by patients with schizophrenia.” And Axios reports “The FDA has approved the drug Givlaari, made by Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, for adults who have acute hepatic porphyria, a genetic disorder that leads to severe abdominal pain and affects just one in 25,000 people.”


- Florida Prescription Drug Importation Plan Will Cost Taxpayers Millions. According to POLITICO’s Prescription Pulse, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has “asked lawmakers to appropriate $20.4 million to get Florida's Canadian prescription-drug import program up and running — regardless of whether the state gets federal approval in time to use the money during the next fiscal year. … Of the $20.4 million , about $4.2 million would be recurring.”




In local newspaper The Day, Tony Sheriden, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut, wrote:

“Proposals to lower the costs of prescription drugs for all Americans are laudable. Our representatives in Washington, however, must be cognizant of far-reaching impacts and unintended consequences as they evaluate proposals such as HR 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act. Billions of dollars are reinvested in research that brings new treatments to market. It would be counterproductive to damage resources directed to developing new medications and supporting continued innovation.”




December 4-5, 2019: Forbes Healthcare Summit

Location: New York, NY

Topic: The Brain, the Body & the Business of Healthcare

Agenda: The world’s top leaders in the $4 trillion healthcare space—CEOs, scientists, billionaires and scrappy startups, doctors and patients, tech titans and venture capitalists—will gather to share their insights on disruptive prescriptions for the brain, body and the business of healthcare. The aim is to drive better care and better value.