CSRxP Applauds Advancement Of Bipartisan CREATES Act

Apr 30, 2019

Praises Lawmakers For Commitment To Delivering Relief For Patients

Washington, D.C. – The Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing (CSRxP) today released a statement applauding the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary for voting to advance the bipartisan CREATES Act at a legislative markup.  The measure targets certain anti-competitive tactics employed by Big Pharma to maintain monopolies and hike prices on prescription drugs:

“The building bipartisan momentum behind the CREATES Act is a welcome indication the measure will continue to advance and ultimately be passed into law,” said CSRxP executive director Lauren Aronson.  “We applaud the leaders and members of the Judiciary Committee for supporting this important bill that will hold Big Pharma accountable and help deliver relief for American patients.”

“While this step marks important progress, there is still considerable work ahead to lower drug prices and stop the price-gouging that has pushed too many American patients to the brink,” Aronson continued.  “It is crucial that Congress stay focused on continuing to advance market-based solutions, like the CREATES Act, that will lower prices by boosting competition.”

Members of the House Judiciary Committee, from both sides of the aisle, reaffirmed their commitment to tackling the crisis of rising drug prices, slammed Big Pharma and praised the CREATES Act during the legislative markup Tuesday.

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary Chairman: “The CREATES Act is bipartisan legislation that would substantially lower drug prices by making it easier for generic pharmaceutical companies to obtain drug samples from branded companies.  Samples, which they require in order to perform testing necessary to enter the market.  One of the anti-competitive tactics that many branded drug companies employ to keep lower cost generics off the shelf is to refuse to provide samples of their drugs to generic and biosimilar competitors … The plainly anti-competitive behavior perpetuates the branded company’s monopoly over the drug, enabling it to charge excessive prices.  The CREATES Act ends this abusive delay tactic by providing generic and biosimilar competitors with tailored relief to obtain samples necessary to enter the market.”

Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary Ranking Member: “Competition from generic and biosimilar drugs is one of the key ways to obtain lower prescription drug prices.  But before a generic or biosimilar can enter the market, its manufacturer has to obtain FDA approval – to do that the manufacturer has to obtain samples from the branded drug with which it plans to compete … And therein lies the rub.  If the branded manufacturer denies the provision of samples, it can delay the competitor’s approval and prop up its own high drug costs.  This should not be happening.  Our laws are written to allow generic and biosimilar to compete and lower drug prices for the benefit of consumers.  True, they also are written to protect the legitimate rights of innovative branded manufacturers, but that does not include rights to game the system and keep the competition wrongfully out or consumer drug prices artificially high.  The CREATES Act will prevent this kind of gaming and make sure that the generic and biosimilar manufacturers can gain samples to complete testing and win FDA approval … As a result, this legislation should bring this anticompetitive behavior to a grinding halt.  This is strong relief for Americans suffering from a burden of excessively high prescription drug costs.”

Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI): “Across the country, the outrageous cost of prescription drugs are destroying lives … It is a dark reality for far too many Americans the life of a loved one depends on if they can raise enough money on a crowdfunding platform to pay for treatment before time runs out.  Faced with no other options, Americans are forced to beg strangers for money to keep their loved ones alive.  Prices are sky-rocketing and people are dying or going bankrupt because they can’t afford their prescription medicines … The CREATES Act would lower the cost of prescription drugs by billions of dollars by putting a stop to abusive delay tactics that prevent generic competitors from offering lower cost alternatives to costly brand-name drugs … This bipartisan legislation is supported by a broad group of U.S. senators, including Senators Patrick Leahy, Chuck Grassley, Amy Klobuchar and Mike Lee.  It’s also backed by a diverse coalition of health care providers, patient groups and public interest organizations across the political spectrum, including AARP, Freedom Works and Public Citizen, among more than 90 others.”

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI): “Let me begin by saying that the desire to lower prescription drug prices is not the exclusive prerogative of one of our great political parties.  It is a Republican priority and that’s I think one of the reasons why, it being bipartisan, we’re going to have a much better chance of seeing this go all the way into law.  And I certainly am thankful to both the chairman and ranking member of the full committee, and Chairman Cicilline, for their efforts in this matter.  I think we’re all on board with this.  I think that this is an example where we can go back and tell our constituents that we’re actually doing something good for them … The CREATES Act will lead to lower costs for patients by ensuring they have faster access to safe and effective [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] FDA approved generic drugs.”