Congressman Kurt Schrader (OR-05) and Congressman Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) introduced legislation to lower drug prices through increased competition in the pharmaceutical market. The Lower Drug Costs through Competition Act (HR 4784) will speed up FDA approval of generic drugs where there is no competition, and will create incentives for competitors to come to the market.
“Too many Americans are facing steeper costs just to fill the same prescriptions they have had for years,” said Congressman Schrader. “We’ve seen some outrageous cases where greedy Wall Street speculators have caused drug prices to skyrocket five thousand percent overnight. Some of our most vulnerable constituents depend on access to life-saving pharmaceuticals. We know many of these patients’ costs could be lowered if generic competitors were available. Our bipartisan proposal will encourage generic competition, lower drug costs, and allow treatments to come to market faster.”
“This important legislation will help countless Americans,” said Congressman Bilirakis. “These are hard times for many residents in my district and across our nation. This bill will encourage competition to keep drug prices affordable and give consumers more options. By fast-tracking generic versions of drugs that have already been approved by the FDA, we can help give patients access to the medications they need.”
The legislation would require the FDA to act on generic drug applications within six months of submission when there is no equivalent generic drug on the market, or when there is a drug shortage. The bill also encourages generic drug development by awarding priority review for future generic drug applications when a company successfully markets a new generic competitor. Additionally, the bill seeks to study and address questions as to whether current Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) are being used to limit generic entry into the market.
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