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House Judiciary Unanimously Passes Bipartisan Bills to Lower Prescription Drug Prices

Apr 30, 2019

Washington, D.C. – Today, the House Judiciary Committee unanimously passed four bills to address prescription drug pricing, including H.R. 965, the CREATES Act; H.R. 2375, the Preserve Access to Affordable Generics and Biosimilars Act; H.R. 2374, the Stop STALLING Act; and H.R. 2376, the Prescription Pricing for the People Act of 2019. This markup is part of the first phase of the Committee’s agenda to lower the soaring cost of prescription drugs.

 

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law Chairman David N. Cicilline (D-RI) released the following joint statement:

 

“For far too long, large brand prescription drug companies have engaged in bully tactics to stifle competition from generic competitors and keep drug prices high. The bipartisan legislation passed out of the committee today takes steps to address these tactics, to encourage competition and to ultimately reduce prescription drug prices for Americans. We are proud to advance this bipartisan legislation for the people and will work to ensure its passage from the House.” 

 

House Judiciary Ranking Member Doug Collins (R-GA) and Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law Ranking Member Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) released the following joint statement:

 

“The bills we passed out of committee today would truly deliver solutions to decrease the costs of prescription drugs while increasing patients’ access to the best health care possible. We appreciate the partnership of Chairman Nadler and Subcommittee Chairman Cicilline on these important pieces of legislation and look forward to continue working together to promote competition and decrease pharmaceutical costs.”

 

Background:

 

H.R. 2375, the Preserve Access to Affordable Generics and Biosimilars Act

 

The Preserve Access to Affordable Generics and Biosimilars Act, introduced by Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Ranking Member Doug Collins (R-GA), strengthens the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) ability to challenge anticompetitive pay-for-delay agreements in court. Pay-for-delay agreements occur when a brand-name pharmaceutical drug company pays a competitor to keep a generic or biosimilar version of the branded drug off the market as part of a patent settlement. These deals delay access to more affordable generic and biosimilar drugs, costing consumers and the government billions of dollars in higher drug costs. The Senate companion bill, S. 64, Preserve Access to Affordable Generics and Biosimilars Act, was introduced by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), together with Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Joni Ernst (R-IA), and Kevin Cramer (R-ND) as original cosponsors on January 9, 2019.

 

H.R. 965, the CREATES Act

 

The Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act (H.R. 965), introduced by Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01) and Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05), will prohibit big pharmaceutical companies from engaging in anti-competitive conduct to prevent generic versions of prescription drugs from entering the marketplace. The CREATES Act is co-sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10) and Full Committee Ranking Member Doug Collins (GA-09). The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that Cicilline and Sensenbrenner’s proposal will save taxpayers $3.9 billion.

 

H.R. 2374, the Stop STALLING Act

 

Congressman Hakeem Jeffries’s (NY-08) and Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner’s (WI-04) Stop Significant and Time-wasting Abuse Limiting Legitimate Innovation of New Generics (Stop STALLING) Act will curb the abuse of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) citizen petition process and expand access to prescription drugs by reducing incentives for branded pharmaceutical companies to interfere with the regulatory approval of generics and biosimilars that compete with their own products.

 

H.R. 2376, the Prescription Pricing for the People Act of 2019

 

Prescription Pricing for the People Act of 2019, introduced by Ranking Member Doug Collins (R-GA) and Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), would require that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) conduct a study on the state of competition in the drug supply chain. This study would focus on whether pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, have engaged in any anti-competitive practices, such as steering patients to pharmacies for anti-competitive purposes, giving such pharmacies more favorable rates than it offers to competing pharmacies, or using its market power to depress the use of lower-cost prescription drugs.

 

 

116th Congress