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Statement on President Biden’s Prescription Drug Remarks

National Taxpayers Union President Pete Sepp issued the following statement in response to President Biden’s December 6 remarks on the prescription drug provisions of the Build Back Better Act:

“Unfortunately, taxpayers and patients may be facing a new prescription drug landscape that’s far less affordable and accessible than President Biden suggested today. Consumers could actually see higher costs under the President’s proposal than if policymakers simply allowed for robust market competition between brand-name drugs and generics. Government price controls are no substitute for a robust pipeline of lower-cost alternatives in the marketplace. 

“Congress and the Biden administration should be looking to build on the success of the bipartisan Hatch-Waxman Act and the market-based structure of Medicare Part D. These laws have expanded prescription drug access and options for tens of millions of Americans, while creating a robust market for generics and biosimilars that save patients and taxpayers money. 

“The artificial price controls in the Build Back Better Act would instead push the cost bubble for researching, developing, manufacturing, and providing prescription drugs to millions of Medicare patients onto other payers, or lead to fewer innovations in the prescription drug market in future years -- or, worse yet, both. Taxpayers could lose out on long-term savings from drug discoveries that replace costly hospital stays or surgeries. As of writing, it's not even clear whether some of these provisions will pass muster with the Senate parliamentarian for reconciliation purposes. Congress and the President should abandon the prescription drug price controls in the Build Back Better Act. Instead, policymakers should pursue bipartisan legislation that increases market competition, and reduces taxpayer and patient exposure to high costs in Medicare Part D.”