Medicines360 Applauds U.S. Congress for Enshrining Nonprofit Pharma in Federal Law for the First Time

The Omnibus Legislation Passed Last Week Includes Provisions to Conduct a GAO Report on Nonprofit Pharma and include Nonprofit Pharma in an HHS Domestic Manufacturing Study 

January 4, 2023 

San Francisco, CA – Last week, Congress passed bipartisan legislation to fund the Federal Government for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2023 and to ensure other pivotal priorities were completed before the end of the 117th Congress. Included among those must-move priorities: the nonprofit pharmaceutical industry was introduced for the first time ever in Federal law. 

Statement from Tina Raine-Bennett, MD, MPH, CEO at Medicines360  

At Medicines360, we have always known that the nonprofit pharmaceutical industry would be a critical driver toward providing equitable access to medicines and devices in the United States. Today, we applaud the bipartisan lawmakers in the United States Congress who moved to officially include that future in Federal law. The inclusion of critical provisions in the end-of-year omnibus legislation concerning nonprofit pharma is an incredible victory for health equity in this country. This victory would not have been possible without the visionary leadership of Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) who has been the leading voice calling for legislation supporting nonprofit pharma, and Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) who reached across the aisle to introduce a provision ultimately passed today; we thank them for their incredible commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of all people across the country. In the days ahead, we look forward to working with health care champions in the 118th Congress and the Biden-Harris Administration to continue this incredible momentum toward building the health care system our country deserves.” 

The omnibus legislation passed last week (H.R. 2617) directs the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a report on the impact that nonprofit drug companies would have on lowering drug costs, addressing drug shortages, and accelerating the development of new drugs. The report will also look at existing barriers to the success of nonprofit pharmaceutical organizations, and what Congress can do to support them. The omnibus legislation also includes a provision allowing the Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation to include nonprofit pharmaceutical companies in a study on domestic manufacturing. 

An astounding four pieces of legislation considered in the 117th Congress included provisions supporting the nonprofit pharmaceutical industry. Sen. Rosen has been a leading champion for the nonprofit pharmaceutical model and the driver of this congressional momentum. In 2021, Sen. Rosen introduced the first piece of legislation naming nonprofit pharma: the Expanding Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs and Medical Devices Act (S.2257), which would improve the ability of nonprofit pharmaceutical organizations to sustainably provide affordable medicines to U.S. patients in a number of ways. In 2022, Sen. Rosen was joined by Sen. Romney to introduce S.4341, standalone legislation calling for the same GAO report ultimately included in this final omnibus. Thanks to the incredible leadership of Sen. Rosen, Sen. Romney, and the other health care champions of the 117th Congress, the nonprofit pharmaceutical industry is a critical step closer to fulfilling its promise to improve the cost of prescription drugs and devices.   

About Medicines360  

Medicines360, located in San Francisco, California, is a global nonprofit women’s health pharmaceutical organization with a mission to catalyze equitable access to medicines and devices through product development, policy advocacy, and collaboration with global and US partners. For more information, visit www.medicines360.org  

About Medicines360

Medicines360, located in San Francisco, California, is a nonprofit global women’s health pharmaceutical organization with a mission to catalyze equitable access to medicines and devices through product development, policy advocacy, and collaboration with global and US partners. Medicines360, through its subsidiary Impact RH360, launched the Avibela Project to expand access to hormonal IUDs in low- and middle-income countries. For more information, visit medicines360.org

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Tina Raine-Bennett, MD, MPH, FACOG

Chief Executive Officer

Tina Raine-Bennett, MD, MPH, is CEO of Medicines360. Previously, she served as a senior research scientist at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research and the research director of the Women’s Health Research Institute. She is a Board-Certified Obstetrician Gynecologist who received her medical training at the University of California, San Diego, and post-graduate residency training and MPH at the University of Washington in Seattle, where she also completed a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Fellowship. She was also senior staff physician at Kaiser Permanente and has a special interest in family planning and adolescent reproductive health.

As the director of the Women’s Health Research Institute, Dr. Raine-Bennett focused on expanding research on women’s health within the Division and translating women’s health research into clinical practice and policy within the Ob/Gyn departments in Northern California. She also promoted the involvement of clinicians in research designed to improve the health outcomes and healthcare experiences of women at Kaiser Permanente and women in general.

Prior to Kaiser Permanente, Dr. Raine-Bennett was a professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She was based at San Francisco General Hospital where she was also the medical director of the New Generation Health Center, a UCSF affiliate site that provides community-based reproductive health services. Dr. Raine-Bennett’s research has focused on contraceptive methods and on elucidating factors that influence contraceptive choice and continuation, and she was principal investigator on NIH grants to assess hormonal contraceptive use predictors and develop interventions to improve contraceptive access.

Her past and current research on emergency contraception has focused on the safety of making emergency contraception more accessible and she conducted a pivotal clinical trial to make emergency contraception available to teens without a prescription. She served on the editorial board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and has over 100 peer-reviewed publications. She was the Treasurer of the Board of Directors for the Society of Family Planning and Society of Family Planning Research Fund. She has also served as an examiner for the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and on national committees for the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the National Medical Board of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.