Government and Politics
September 22, 2022
Senators Braun And Hassan Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Lower Prescription Drug Costs By Increasing Competition
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Mike Braun and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) introduced bipartisan legislation today to lower prescription drug costs by removing barriers that prevent some medications, including generic drugs, from entering the market. Generic medications generally cost less than name-brand drugs, and when generics enter the market, it increases competition and brings down overall prescription drug costs.
“For far too long, politicians and pharmaceutical companies have sparred over drug pricing, all the while patients and their families bear the costs of expensive inaction and endless bureaucratic red tape. We need to shake up this dysfunctional system, and more generic drug competition in the pharmaceutical industry would give patients the upper hand. This is why I am proud to co-introduce the Increasing Prescription Drug Competition Act, a bipartisan piece of legislation that will open the door for more generic drugs to enter the market, ultimately driving consumer-friendly price competition. This bill will help patients in every state get drugs they need for less,” said Senator Braun.
“Granite Staters and Americans need us to keep working together to stand up to Big Pharma and bring down prescription drug costs,” said Senator Hassan. “Our bipartisan bill would take an important step forward to lower costs at the pharmacy counter by preventing pharmaceutical companies’ efforts to block generic drugs from entering the market. I encourage my colleagues to join us in supporting this commonsense bill.”
-Senator Braun and Hassan’s bipartisan Increasing Prescription Drug Competition Act will help get more generic drugs onto the market.
--The FDA often requires that drug manufacturers have a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) program for potentially dangerous medications – for instance, requiring training for doctors to prescribe the drug.
--Pharmaceutical companies sometimes patent their REMS program as a way to slow or block generic versions of the medication from entering the market.
-Senator Hassan and Braun’s bill enables the FDA to immediately approve generic drugs – instead of the normal 30-month approval stay – if the only barrier to approval is a REMS patent.
-In addition, their bill stops pharmaceutical companies from abusing the patent and court system by ensuring that if a drug company sues to stop a generic over a REMS patent, the lawsuit may go on but it cannot stop the sale of the generic drug.