Pharma chief says Democrats who vote for reconciliation bill ‘won’t get free pass’

“Regardless of the outcome in the coming weeks, this fight is not over,” Ubl said in an interview. “Few associations have at their disposal all the tools of modern political advocacy as the PhRMA does.”

Thursday’s letter largely reiterates arguments the industry has made throughout the process, with executives from companies such as Pfizer and Merck saying passing the legislation would lead to fewer treatments and cures, in especially for serious diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease which can be difficult and costly. develop.

Ubl said one of PhRMA’s member companies has 15 drugs in the works that would be canceled if the bill becomes law.

“It’s a very big vote. MPs who vote for this bill won’t get a pass. We’ll do everything we can to hold them accountable,” he said.

It’s unclear when Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will introduce the $740 billion reconciliation package, and senators plan to stay over the weekend as they travel to address issues and problems. adopt as soon as possible.

The stakes are high for the pharmaceutical industry: Allowing Medicare to negotiate the cost of high-priced drugs is expected to save the federal government more than $100 billion. The move “would set the U.S. system on a path of expanded government control, setting the stage for our country to fall behind,” read the letter sent to Congress on Thursday.

PhRMA has spent millions of dollars lobbying Democrats’ drug price reform measures over the past two years, and millions more on TV and digital ads trying to sway public opinion. In the first six months of 2022, the group’s overall lobbying operation spent more than $14.4 million, according to disclosure documents.

Ubl declined to talk further about the kinds of legal arguments that would be on the table — “lest we bow our hand would rule out future options” — or changes that might come from future regulations or legislation.

“In my experience, when a bill like this is pursued on a hyperpartisan basis, with thin margins and flaws in due process, it rarely sticks,” he said, pointing out all the changes that have been made to the Affordable Care Act since its passage “I expect there will be opportunities to further mitigate the harms of this legislation in the future.”