The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) issued the following statement on passage of comprehensive health care reform and accompanying reconciliation legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives:
"We continue to believe that comprehensive health care reform will benefit patients and the future of America. That's why we have been involved in this important public policy debate for more than a year and why we support action by the House to approve the Senate-passed bill along with the amendments found in the reconciliation legislation.
"The existing barriers to quality health care simply are not acceptable. Today's important and historic vote in the House will help to expand health care coverage and services to tens of millions of Americans who are uninsured and often forced to forego needed medical treatments.
"Our commitment to help pay for health care reform will require all of our companies to make some difficult choices moving forward - on top of already losing more than 150,000 jobs since 2007 because of the recession and other economic factors.
"But throughout this long process, we have been guided by a belief that all Americans should have access to high-quality, affordable health care coverage and services. This legislation, while not perfect, is a step in that direction.
"Even as we support health care reform legislation, we continue to have concerns about a number of issues including the overly broad powers of a non-elected Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), which could enact sweeping Medicare changes without action by Congress and would not be subject to judicial or administrative review. We look forward to working with Congress to address these concerns and to identify ways to contain medical costs without creating new barriers to quality health care.
"Most importantly, we must also take steps in the years ahead to support critically needed innovation, ensuring future medical advancements and breakthroughs. Americans deserve no less. New, cutting-edge medicines have dramatically increased life expectancy rates all across our nation and allowed patients to live longer, healthier and more productive lives. We remain totally committed to seeing this progress continue, benefiting Americans for generations to come."