CLSA Leads Multi-State Organization Letter to Congressional Leadership Opposing International Reference Pricing

By Molly Fishman
Oct. 25, 2019

CLSA organized a multi-state life sciences association letter to House and Senate Leadership, expressing our strong concerns with recent legislative proposals that threaten to undermine America’s global leadership in biomedical innovation by introducing international reference pricing or foreign price controls. With the support of BIO, the final letter was cosigned by 44 state and regional life sciences associations from 41 states (including one territory), and was sent to the Hill on Thursday, October 17th

Specifically, the letter discusses why international reference pricing – such as the policy proposed in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-San Francisco) drug pricing bill, H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019, is concerning for states and regions across the country with both established life sciences communities (like California), and emerging biomedical innovation ecosystems working to attract capital investment and support entrepreneurship to build the companies and therapies of the future. Most importantly, the letter argues that the results of importing foreign price controls will be devastating for future investment in innovation and will ultimately penalize patients hoping for new medicines to treat serious, life-threatening diseases.

CLSA has launched a public relations campaign to amplify the letter with key audiences and urge Congress to reject foreign price controls and international reference pricing proposals as a method to lower drug costs. Additionally, CLSA has retained an international health economics firm, Vital Transformation, to conduct an analysis of the impact of international pricing, as proposed in H.R. 3, on California’s biopharmaceutical innovation ecosystem. The analysis specifically looks at the impact the proposal will have on investment and small company capital formation and new drug pipeline development in California. Initial results of the analysis are in, and we will formally release findings in the coming days.

The House congressional committees are still wrapping up their hearings and markups on H.R. 3, and a Floor vote on H.R. 3 has been posted to mid-November (see Bloomberg Government article). In the meantime, CLSA will continue to work on communicating our strong concerns to the Hill regarding proposals that impose international reference pricing or foreign price controls and harm patient access and choice.

Questions? Please contact Molly Fishman, CLSA’s Director of Federal Government Relations (