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Unintended consequences for chronic disease patients are many
March 8, 2024 (WASHINGTON, D.C.) The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) today released the following statement from Chair Ken Thorpe in response to President Biden’s State of the Union address:
“There was no shortage of health-related messages in last night’s State of the Union and with good reason, there are millions of American families managing one and often multiple chronic conditions. Of course, we applaud the President’s Cancer Moonshot efforts and the First Lady’s new initiative for women’s health but without more precise reforms systemwide we are not appropriately setting up for success in either of those important areas. 
“The President touted his drug pricing program under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and proposed expanding it to 50 drugs per year even before its inception by noting the intention of price-setting the most expensive drugs on the market. What the President didn’t say was that many of those drugs are also the most highly utilized by millions of Americans across the country living with chronic disease. We have serious concerns about what the implementation of this program will mean when it comes to consistent access to prescribed medicines for people managing chronic conditions. The proposal to further expand Medicare price-setting will more rapidly undermine the world’s strongest ecosystem for medical innovation that got us out of the pandemic and is our only hope of truly ending cancer - and the burden of other chronic diseases - as we know it. 
“We are already seeing a shift in investments away from small molecules and towards biologics as a result of the IRA. Small molecule medicines are an incredibly important tool in the battle against cancer. We simply cannot end cancer as we know it if we continue to undermine and disrupt the research and development ecosystem that has delivered so many breakthrough treatments and cures to patients.
“The President did pose notable goals that will help meet unmet medical need and make savings a reality for patients with his remarks about the valuable innovations ARPA-H could deliver and the capping of insulin costs for people living with diabetes, but on the whole the scatter shot of promises will not make better overall health outcomes a reality for patients.”  
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