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CLSA Wire

Update on CLSA’s Value of Innovation Campaign
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Jan. 15, 2016

A growing theme among many stakeholders is that medical innovations are often too expensive and/or of questionable value. While CLSA’s “Value of Innovation” campaign was initially launched with a focus on the public and political debate around drug prices in California, the debate has now descended upon Washington and will continue to be an issue of focus not only in Sacramento but for Congress – as well as the Presidential candidates – in 2016.

Several oversight and legislative committees in the House and Senate have announced plans to hold hearings on this issue in the coming months. Last week, the Democratic Caucus announced the launch of a new task force with plans to “investigate rising prescription drug prices,” to be led by caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra (D-Los Angeles) and Reps. Peter Welch (D-Vermont) and Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas). And illustrating just how extreme some proposals are to attempt addressing the perceived drug pricing problem , this Jan., Rep. Doggett led a letter asking the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to assert “march-in rights” to address the issue of prescription drug costs and access. Unfortunately, several members of our delegation offered their support of this letter. We have been meeting with these and other delegation offices to address our positions as they relate to patient access and affordability-related concerns and the implications and consequences of the misuse of march-in authorities.

In anticipation of increased activity on this issue at all levels, CLSA has extended our “Value of Innovation” campaign to support efforts in Washington, which will provide greater context to the importance of appropriate coverage and payment and its linkage to access for patients in the need of these lifesaving therapies and cures.

In particular, CLSA’s federal government relations team is focusing its Jan. advocacy activities on engaging with members and staff of our congressional delegation, to further share data regarding life sciences research and development, illustrating other factors affecting rising healthcare costs and patient access (like restrictive formularies, specialty tiers, cost sharing, limited provider networks, etc.), and highlighting the value and long-term cost-savings California’s innovative life sciences ecosystem provides to patients, the healthcare system and the overall economy.

As the political climate becomes increasingly more partisan in the months leading up to the November elections, CLSA is aware of and ready for the challenge of defending and bolstering the innovative life sciences sector in California and in Congress.

Learn more about the campaign at www.CALifeSciences.org/Innovation. For questions or further information, please contact Todd Gillenwater, CLSA’s Executive Vice President for Advocacy and External Relations (tgillenwater@califesciences.org).