It is concerning to see Congress move forward with reintroducing H.R.3. The policies included in H.R.3 would disproportionately impact the Latinx community and other disadvantaged groups by importing discriminatory value-based assessments, known as QALYs, which impose a one-size-fits-all approach to healthcare. Freedom of choice, access, and resources for the personalized care of diverse populations are essential to the well-being of underserved communities.
Underserved communities depend on the Medicare program to afford and access a multitude of medications and treatments. By using government price-setting tactics, H.R.3 would significantly reduce the availability of existing and new treatments covered by Medicare. Consequently, patients could see their treatment plans disrupted and fewer new treatment options, just as we’ve witnessed in suggested reference countries, where price controls cause major disruptions in the delivery of care and limited access to new drugs.
Furthermore, H.R.3 would penalize the U.S. innovators who invest in breakthrough research, depriving patients of potentially revolutionary new medicines, while also creating job losses in the biopharmaceutical sector and delivering a blow to our economy. The timing of such legislation is tone-deaf, considering it was biopharmaceutical companies that developed a vaccine that has saved countless lives and further demonstrated America’s leading role in drug development. If there is one thing the COVID-19 pandemic has proven, it’s that we must invest in the research and development of treatments, especially to save the lives of our most vulnerable communities, which are disproportionately impacted by health and economic crises.
In the years ahead, drug innovation will remain crucial to improving public health. We encourage lawmakers to prioritize policies that advance this medical innovation while making it easier for Latinx communities to access everyday medications and treatments. Our organization appreciates efforts to lower drug prices, but H.R.3 is simply a step in the wrong direction, making it increasingly difficult for us to tackle the health challenges that have affected America’s underserved communities for far too long.