WASHINGTON – The Senate Judiciary
Committee today unanimously advanced four bipartisan bills aimed at
improving access to affordable prescription medications. The
bills are cosponsored by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the
committee’s ranking member, and represent part of his
multi-pronged approach to reducing the cost of prescription drugs for all
“At almost every one of my county meetings,
I hear directly from Iowans who are seriously concerned about the rising cost
of prescription drugs,” Grassley said.
“These commonsense bills will make it easier for patients to access generic
prescription drugs by holding drug companies accountable for any
anticompetitive behavior without interfering with their innovation. I’m glad my
colleagues agree and voted to pass these bipartisan proposals out of committee.
I’ll continue my work to improve affordability for medications, but these
bills are a great step in the right direction.”
the incentives for branded pharmaceutical companies to file sham petitions with
the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to interfere with the regulatory approval
of generics and biosimilars that would compete with their own products, a
tactic that delays patient access to more affordable medications. The bill
would give the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enhanced authority to take action
against those who file sham petitions.
Access to Affordable Generics and Biosimilars Act
anticompetitive “pay-for-delay deals” that prevent or delay the introduction of
affordable follow-on or generic versions of branded pharmaceuticals.
Pay-for-delay deals – the practice in which drug companies use pay-off
agreements to delay the introduction of cheaper substitutes – increase the cost
of prescriptions and impose significant costs on our health care system. The
legislation covers pay-for-delay deals affecting biosimilar and interchangeable
biologics in addition to generic drugs.
Pricing for the People Act
FTC to examine the effects of consolidation on pricing and other
potentially abusive behavior within the PBM industry,
and provide policy recommendations to Congress to improve competition and
Prescriptions for Patients Act
would curb major drug companies’ abuse of
patents through product hopping and ever-greening tactics that prevent generic
and biosimilar competition from coming to market.
Grassley is also the author of
the bipartisan Prescription
Drug Pricing Reduction Act
, a comprehensive drug pricing
reform measure that advanced out of the Finance Committee with broad
bipartisan support under Grassley’s leadership last Congress.