U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce

10/03/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/03/2023 13:42

Chair Rodgers: Biden’s ‘Moon Shot Initiative’ to Cure Cancer Falls Flat as He Celebrates Law that Stifles Medical Innovation

Share on

Chair Rodgers: Biden's 'Moon Shot Initiative' to Cure Cancer Falls Flat as He Celebrates Law that Stifles Medical Innovation

Oct 03, 2023

Washington, D.C. - House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) issued the following statement as President Joe Biden announced the manufacturers of the first ten drugs selected will enter "negotiation" as part of the Innovation Reduction Act's (IRA) provisions:

"Patients battling rare diseases and cancer need hope that America will continue to lead the search and development for new treatments and cures-not crush it. The Innovation Reduction Act has already stifled this leadership, forcing innovators to end research and development into at least two dozen potential new drugs. President Biden's commitment to cure cancer rings hollow as more patients with cancer and rare diseases see more promising treatments sidelined."

The Committee recently held an oversight hearingon how the IRA's price setting scheme is leading to fewer cures for patients.

Below are highlights from key witnesses who testified at the hearing:

  • John "CZ" Czwartacki, the Founder of Survivors for Solutions, a group that seeks to preserve and protect the medical innovations that give people hope:

"I owe my life to your former colleagues who chose to let medical innovation flourish and discover life-changing medicines. Hatch-Waxman was comprehensive bipartisan legislation that unleashed the scientists and researchers who gave a life to the dad of Sam, Nick, CJ, and Henry. I can barely get out the words, let alone put a price tag on the results." […]

"You can fix this. 'First, do no harm' wasn't your thing last year. But while you're in a hole, you can stop digging. Stop doubling down on a policy that is directly ending hope for the most vulnerable.

"I can never repay those who are responsible for allowing me to live my wonderful life, but what I can do is stand up for the people you ignored. I can remind my good friends that this policy is sentencing real people to needless suffering, mental anguish, and the potential of early death."

  • John Crowley, the founder of a biotech company, which stems from his drive that successfully found a cure for his two children who were diagnosed with Pompe disease-a severe and often fatal neuromuscular disorder:

"Drug makers routinely investigate whether a drug already approved to treat one rare condition could possibly treat another. Historically, this "follow-on" research has provided transformational cures to patient communities who don't have access to effective treatments. The IRA is already forcing some drug companies to freeze efforts to find additional applications for existing rare disease drugs.One biotech company already stopped a late-stage clinical trial that would have determined whether a rare heart disease drug would also work for a rare eye condition. In short, the IRA's negative treatment of orphan products is a direct contradiction of the positive, and life-changing, work done by Congress in passing the Orphan Drug Act itself many years ago." […]

"We cannot squander this great opportunity in the years ahead to advance state-of-the-art medicines for people in need-especially the most vulnerable among us. It is a moral imperative for our society.And the United States must not relinquish the great strategic advantage that is American biotechnology."

  • Dr. Steve Potts who serves as Chair of the Drug Development Council at the International Cancer Advocacy Network:

"The IRA has made new small molecule R&D for diseases of the aging nearly impossible-which is particularly bad not just for small company drug developers like me, but also for people who suffer from diseases like cancer and Alzheimer's."

Share on