BIO’s Dr. McMurry-Heath Warns Executive Order to “Cripple Small, Innovative Companies” Working to Eradicate COVID-19

Says biopharma researchers and scientists stand ready to support real solutions that will address patient drug costs, continue lifesaving science 

Washington, DC (July 24, 2020) – Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath, the president and CEO of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), released a statement today warning that an executive order to adopt foreign price controls on certain prescription medicines could “cripple” companies working to eradicate COVID-19 and lead to less patient access to lifesaving treatments. 

Dr. McMurry-Heath raised these and other concerns in a letter to President Trump, which urged the president to abandon any further implementation of the executive order imposing foreign price controls. Her full statement is below: 

“As the pandemic continues to worsen in the U.S., hitting more and more communities, the administration should be focused on doing everything it can to support those on the frontlines working to save lives, get our kids back to school and our economy back on track. While we strongly support today’s action to help reform a broken rebate system and ensure savings provided by drugmakers are passed along to patients, adopting foreign price controls by executive fiat will cripple the small, innovative companies developing the vaccines and therapies that will help end this pandemic and get the American people back to work. 

“All across the country, there are scientists and researchers in our labs working day and night to end the COVID-19 pandemic. They are trying desperately to develop the scientific solutions we need to eradicate this 

devastating public health crisis. We will not overcome this pandemic or future ones if we seek short-sighted polices that adopt foreign price controls from systems that don’t value innovation, disrupt providers’ ability to deliver care and increase barriers to patient access. There is a reason that over half of all the science and drug development related to COVID-19 is coming from the U.S. 

“It is ironic, but perhaps not surprising, that just next week the president and vice president will go and stand on the shoulders of our scientists who are working day and night for a cure, while at the same time tying our companies hands in developing more vaccines and more treatments for a myriad of diseases. These and many other companies have risked tens of millions of dollars on failed experiments to be in a perfect position to jump in the action when the nation needed vaccines and treatments for COVID-19. 

“The pandemic has shined a harsh light on the health disparities facing our communities. These executive orders would only exacerbate those disparities by delaying or denying access to cures and treatments, stifling the development of new medicines, and jeopardizing the health and safety of Americans. The scientists and researchers at our innovative companies stand ready to support real solutions that virtually eliminate what patients pay for their drugs and at the same time continue lifesaving science.” 

Recognizing the severe threat the Trump administration’s executive order adopting foreign price controls pose to innovative biopharmaceutical companies, including those on the frontlines in the effort to eradicate COVID-19, Dr. McMurry-Heath wrote to President Trump urging him to abandon any further implementation of the misguided executive order adopted foreign price controls. To read Dr. McMurry-Heath’s letter to the president, click here