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Utah Life Sciences News & Events

Senate Passes Inflation Reduction Act – Sens. Lee, Romney Oppose

August 11, 2022

After an all-night session, the Senate on Sunday passed a sweeping, $740 billion reconciliation package titled the “Inflation Reduction.” The measure passed on a party line 51-50 vote, with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie vote. The 755-page bill will now be taken up by the House today, where it is expected to pass before going to President Biden for his signature.

Following the vote, Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath, president and CEO of BIO said, “Nothing we heard from the lengthy floor debate on the Senate floor over the past two days can take away from the fact that every credible analysis of the Inflation Reduction Act comes to the same conclusion: fewer cures for patients.

Last week, in advance of the vote, both Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Mitt Romney (R-UT) expressed opposition to the bill during a webinar hosted by the Salt Lake Chamber. During their remarks, both Senators took issue with the drug price control provisions of the bill which would allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices and impose an excise tax of 95% on the sale of any drug that a manufacturer refuses to submit for Medicare price negotiations – effectively price-setting by government. BIoUtah thanks our Senators for standing up for patient cures.

Studies have consistently shown that such policies would reduce the number of innovative new drugs that come to market because companies would no longer have the necessary funds to spend on R&D. BioUtah joined Utah patient groups, Salt Lake Chambers and investors in sending a letter to our U.S. Senators and Representatives expressing opposition to the misguided drug pricing policies included in the legislation. Utah’s robust and growing drug research, discovery and manufacturing sector could be impacted. Utah is one of only 11 states with a specialized concentration of jobs in the drugs and pharmaceuticals industry. Salt Lake City is ranked one of the top 25 cities in the country with the largest employment levels in drugs and pharmaceuticals.