What you need to know about H.R. 3

Tom Wilbur
Tom Wilbur December 12, 2019


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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s drug pricing proposal, H.R. 3, which is being voted on in the U.S. House of Representatives today, is unprecedented in size and scope. It dramatically expands the role of the federal government in health care decision making and puts medical innovation at risk.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • According to new analysis, H.R. 3 could result in 56 fewer new medicines over 10 years according to economic consulting firm Vital Transformations. According to the analysis, H.R. 3 would cut revenues by more than half for companies with affected medicines, leading to a nearly 90% reduction in new medicines developed by small U.S. biotech companies. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says H.R. 3 “would result in lower spending on research and development and thus reduce the introduction of new drugs.” And the White House Council of Economic Advisors released an analysis that found H.R. 3 “could lead to as many as 100 fewer drugs entering the United States market over the next decade, or about one-third the total number of drugs expected to enter the market during that time.

  • A recent survey of nearly 2,000 registered voters showed that 76% of respondents are concerned with H.R. 3 resulting in fewer new medicines. Voters also strongly preferred a more patient-focused approach over H.R. 3 by a 49% to 28% margin.

  • Patients themselves are speaking out against H.R. 3. David, a patient with Type 2 diabetes, writes that H.R. 3 “shouldn’t come at the expense to new medicines down the road. We need a more thoughtful approach so that patients can have the options they need.” There is also broad opposition to H.R. 3 from other stakeholders, experts, and policymakers.

  • H.R. 3 could destabilize incentives for the development of new treatments for Alzheimer’s, ALS, sickle cell disease, rare pediatric diseases, lung cancer, and more. Research shows that “it is simply not true that the government can impost significant price controls without damaging the chances for cures.”

  • H.R. 3 offers more money for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to invest in the development of new medicines, ignoring the fact that NIH is not equipped to fill in gaps in lost R&D. NIH focuses on “basic” research, not developing new medicines, with only a very small portion of their budget going to drug development.

  • H.R. 3 would put American jobs and our economy at risk. The biopharmaceutical sector employs more than 800,000 workers in the United States. Due to its large supply chain, U.S. biopharmaceutical jobs have a high multiplier effect resulting in the industry supporting a total of more than 4 million jobs across the economy. Those jobs are put at grave risk under H.R. 3 and its devastating impact on the economy. If implemented, H.R.3 is projected to cause the permanent loss of nearly 1 million U.S. jobs.

Instead of blowing up the current system, policymakers should focus on practical affordability reforms such as capping out-of-pocket costs, lowering patient cost sharing, ensuring predictable monthly out-of-pocket costs, sharing negotiated savings with patients at the pharmacy counter, enhancing competition from generic medicines and promoting value-based contracts.

Learn more about Speaker Pelosi’s drug pricing plan here.

Take action and tell Congress to stop Speaker Pelosi’s plan here.

Topics: Research and Development, Economic Impact, Pelosi Plan