Bipartisan provision would increase competition, lower costs of prescription drugs
WASHINGTON – Bipartisan legislation mirroring a plan by U.S. Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Claire McCaskill of Missouri to increase competition for generic drugs and lower prescription costs has passed the U.S. House of Representatives as part of a Food and Drug Administration reauthorization bill.
“The struggles resulting from high prescription drug costs are endless, and in every state, and increasing generic drug competition is key to lowering prices and improving access for patients,” Senator Collins said. “It is encouraging that our bipartisan plan to increase generic competition and access for patients to more affordable treatments, which is so important for American families and seniors, has cleared a key hurdle, and I am committed to seeing our bipartisan plan signed into law.”
“Combating the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs and making healthcare more affordable is a top priority of mine,” McCaskill said. “This vote by our colleagues in the House is an important step towards getting this commonsense, bipartisan plan across the finish line and I look forward to finishing the job—helping make these lifesaving drugs more affordable and accessible for the thousands of Missourians who depend on them.”
The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions recently approved the Senators’ Making Pharmaceutical Markets More Competitive Act as part of the Food and Drug Reauthorization Act, which is now awaiting a vote by the full Senate.
The Senators’ bipartisan legislation takes a number of steps to enhance regulatory certainty for generic drug companies by setting forth a priority review timeline for generic applications, providing enhanced communications with eligible sponsors to expedite the review and development of certain applications, improving transparency and reporting requirements, and providing timelines for facility inspections.
This legislation builds on the only bipartisan investigation into the causes, impacts, and potential solutions to the egregious price spikes for certain drugs, which was led by the Aging Committee last Congress. From the beginning, the investigation strived to understand why companies can make these large price increases and to identify which policies should be considered to counter these disturbing practices.