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Comprehensive Health Care Reform Should Be National Priority

WASHINGTON, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) President & CEO Billy Tauzin issued the following statement after President Obama's address to a joint session of Congress on health care reform:

"We agree with President Obama: every American should have access to high-quality, affordable health care coverage and services. If done in a smart way, health care reform will benefit patients, the economy and the future of America.

"In life, we get precious few opportunities to fundamentally improve the lives of people all across our great nation. This is one of those times, and we commend the President for his vision and willingness to be open to new and different ideas.

"Today, millions of Americans lack insurance coverage or have excessive co-pays that force them to pass on needed medical treatments. This not only has a detrimental effect on patient health, it also impacts job stability and economic growth in America. Yet, saving money is only part of the solution; saving lives is critically important, too.

"That's why we believe any health reform package must foster continued medical progress and innovation in America. If we are going to cure cancer in our lifetime -- as the President has challenged us to do -- we can't be afraid of taking chances. Innovative new medicines and therapies have dramatically increased life expectancy rates in America and around the world, allowing patients everywhere to live healthier, more productive lives.

"Achieving bipartisan, comprehensive health care reform this year should be a national priority. This is our once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make a real difference. We will continue to be a constructive partner to help meet this goal."

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country's leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. PhRMA companies are leading the way in the search for new cures. PhRMA members alone invested an estimated $50.3 billion in 2008 in discovering and developing new medicines. Industry-wide research and investment reached a record $65.2 billion in 2008.

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SOURCE Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America
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