December 21, 2023
  •   Download PDF
  • Arrington, Burgess Commend CBO for Requesting New Information to Inform Analysis of Policies that Impact Patient Access to New Medicines

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Chairman Jodey Arrington and Health Care Task Force (HCTF) Chair Michael C. Burgess, M.D. issued the following statements after Director Phillip Swagel of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) responded to Burgess and Arrington’s letter and acted on the HCTF’s request to establish a formal avenue for independent researchers and experts to submit new research and information on policies that impact patient access to new medicines.

    Screenshot 2023-12-21 at 2


    The announcement follows close communication between the Health Care Task Force and CBO as well as experts and stakeholders regarding this issue:

    • On October 26th, HCTF Chair Burgess led a roundtable discussion, which brought together CBO Director Swagel, independent experts, and stakeholders to examine CBO’s analysis of the IRA’s impact on new drug development in the United States.


    Pictured Left to Right at Table: Chairman Jodey Arrington (R-TX), Rep. Rudy Yakym (R-IN), CBO Director Phillip Swagel, HCTF Chair Michael C. Burgess (R-TX), American Action Forum President and former CBO Director Doug Holtz-Eakin 

    • On November 20th, Chairman Arrington, HCTF Chair Burgess, and HCTF Members led a letter to CBO Director Swagel that requests answers to how CBO analyzed the impact of the IRA’s drug price control provisions on patient access to the new drugs in the United States. The letter also directly called upon CBO to issue a request for new information on how policies impact new drug development.
    • On December 20th, CBO issued a blog post titled “A Call for New Research in the Area of New Drug Development,” allowing independent researchers and stakeholders to formally submit new data and research regarding policies that impact patient access to new medicines. 

    • On December 21st, CBO responded to the HCTF letter requesting more information on how the agency approaches analysis of policies that impact new drug development in the U.S. You can view CBO’s response HERE

    The Bottom Line:

    Spending on health care continues to increasingly consume the federal budget. As recognized by CBO earlier this year, medical innovation, including new medicines, holds the power to significantly reduce federal health care spending by curing and reducing the financial and health burden of disease—and, more importantly, providing lifesaving cures to American families. 

    CBO projected in 2022 that the IRA’s Medicare drug price controls would result in one fewer medicine being brought to U.S. market over the first 10-years following enactment of the law. The roundtable highlighted the growing and chilling effect the IRA is already having on medical innovation, which is delaying and preventing new medicines from reaching patients.

    Policymakers need to fully understand the tradeoffs associated with proposed policies that could stifle medical innovation along with the corresponding direct impact on the federal budget, and, more importantly, American patients and families. 

    The Health Care Task Force, the Budget Committee’s health policy incubator, looks forward to continuing to deliver results and work toward improving patient outcomes and reducing health spending in the future.