WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 1, 2020)–Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) president and CEO Stephen J. Ubl issued the following statement regarding the recently released Presidential Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping.
“The biopharmaceutical industry is doing everything it can to find vaccines and therapeutics to help end a pandemic that has had a disproportionate impact on Black and Brown communities.
“The issue of health inequities is not a new problem. It is a longstanding symptom of the systemic racism experienced by Black and Brown Americans throughout history. It is why our companies have committed to pushing for necessary, positive and long-term change to better address the needs of diverse communities. And it is why we must speak out against the president’s executive order restricting workplace diversity training programs and free speech within private companies that have contractual partnerships with or grants from the federal government.
“Diversity is essential to a robust innovation ecosystem that can create new medicines for those who need them. Our member companies’ longstanding diversity, equity and inclusion trainings and broader efforts play a significant role in achieving that diversity. They help ensure we have open and honest conversations about racial equity and what it means to have a culture of inclusion; it is how we build toward broader health equity in our nation. Putting in place improper bureaucratic hurdles and restrictions on speech that hinder diversity and prolong racial inequity undermines that ecosystem and puts in jeopardy opportunities for meaningful dialogue on the values for which this nation stands. That is why this ill-conceived and harmful executive order must be rescinded.
“Earlier this year, our companies made a forceful statement that systemic racism is as real as any disease. We continue to push forward. Get more information and follow the progress of America’s biopharmaceutical industry at phrma.org/equity.”
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading innovative biopharmaceutical research companies, which are devoted to discovering and developing medicines that enable patients to live longer, healthier and more productive lives. Since 2000, PhRMA member companies have invested nearly $1 trillion in the search for new treatments and cures, including an estimated $83 billion in 2019 alone.