Major Drug Pricing Bill Set to Include Rep. Mike Levin’s Legislation Investing Billions in Biomedical Research

December 10, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Levin announced that his legislation with Reps. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) and Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) to invest billions over the next ten years in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for biomedical research is set to be included in the Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019 (H.R. 3). The legislation is expected to pass the House this week.

“The Southern California communities I represent are home to some of the world’s foremost biomedical research institutions, which work to improve the quality of life for people across the country,” said Rep. Levin. “This legislation recognizes our moral imperative to make robust investments in medical research to develop cures and save lives, and I am thrilled to see it included in the Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019.”

“The biopharmaceutical industry in New Jersey has contributed some of the most significant medical innovations in our history, and drives breakthrough treatments in areas like rare diseases,” said Representative Sherrill. “Including this legislation in H.R. 3 is a recognition of the importance of biomedical research and a critical investment in our future. Our bill invests $10 billion in savings from H.R. 3 back into the National Institutes of Health and the biomedical innovation ecosystem, so we can continue to develop life-saving treatments that help Americans.”

“For decades, the dedicated researchers at the NIH have been responsible for lifesaving discoveries that have put Central Virginians on a path toward healthier, longer, and happier lives,” said Representative Spanberger. “To make sure these teams can continue their record of success, we need to give them the tools to fight back against rare diseases, prevent antibiotic resistance, and eventually find a cure for cancer. I’m proud to see our provision included as part of H.R. 3, because support for the cutting-edge research of today is a smart investment in the treatments and cures of tomorrow.”

“The Biomedical Innovation Expansion Act builds on the long standing Congressional support for biomedical research. The U.S. government's sustained and increased investment is critical to continuing ground breaking discoveries, training of the next generation of researchers, improving the quality of life for young and old, and maintaining U.S preeminence in biomedical research," said Sandra A. Brown, Vice Chancellor for Research, Office of Research Affairs, University of California San Diego

“The Antimicrobial Innovation Alliance (AIA) is excited to see the inclusion of funding to research new cures and treatments to combat antimicrobial and antibiotic resistance,” said Barrett Thornhill, executive director of the AIA. “Antimicrobial resistance is a present and growing public health crisis. The World Health Organization estimates antimicrobial resistance currently kills 700,000 people globally and will increase to 10 million people by 2050 if no action is taken, and this provision is a step towards addressing this urgent crisis.”

“Antimicrobial resistance is one of the most daunting public health challenges of our time. The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) is encouraged to see legislative provisions moving forward that will provide urgently needed federal funding to address the serious threat we face from AMR in this country and globally,” said Dr. Stefano Bertuzzi, ASM CEO. “We applaud Representative Levin and his colleagues, Rep. Sherrill and Rep. Spanberger, for their leadership on this important issue.”

The provision invests $7.5 billion over ten years in the National Institutes of Health as a catalyst for medical cures and scientific breakthroughs. This includes:

  • Roughly $2 billion for the Precision Medicine Initiative, which includes the ambitious All of Us Research Program aimed at building a diverse database to inform thousands of studies on a variety of health conditions as an important way to accelerate health research;
  • Over $2 billion for the Brain Research Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative and its goals set out in BRAIN 2025: A Scientific Vision, including the broad goal of gaining insight into how the nervous system functions in health and disease; 
  • More than $1.1 billion towards combating antimicrobial and antibiotic resistance, which the World Health Organization warns is one of the top ten threats to global health;
  • More than $1.5 billion for the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot to continue to accelerate cancer research for more patients in need;
  • Over $530 million to support research on the several thousands of rare diseases without a treatment; and
  • Over $15 million toward the Regenerative Medicine Innovation Project carried out in coordination with the Food and Drug Administration to advance the development of safe and effective regenerative medicine innovations using adult stem cells.

###