CSRxP Applauds Senate HELP Committee For Advancing Bipartisan Measures to Hold Big Pharma Accountable and Lower Drug Prices

Jun 26, 2019

Advancement of CREATES and FAIR Drug Pricing Acts Marks Step Toward Boosting Competition and Transparency

Washington, D.C. – The Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing (CSRxP) today released a statement praising lawmakers on the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee for taking up and advancing two bipartisan measures to boost competition and increase transparency. The two bills, the Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act and the FAIR Drug Pricing Act, were included in the final version of the “Lower Health Care Costs Act,” that passed out of committee Wednesday.

“We applaud HELP Committee lawmakers for advancing these bipartisan solutions that will help crack down on the anti-competitive tactics of Big Pharma and bring much needed transparency to how drug makers determine the price of their product,” said CSRxP executive director Lauren Aronson. “Chairman Alexander, Ranking Member Murray and members of the committee from both sides of the aisle should be commended for working together, in a bipartisan fashion, to strengthen this package with the addition of these two measures.”

“The CREATES Act will help spur competition by preventing brand name drug makers from playing games to block generic manufacturers from gaining access to samples they need to bring a product to market,” Aronson continued. “The FAIR Drug Pricing Act will shine a light on Big Pharma’s price gouging with increased list price transparency, providing the public an important window into how list prices are set and hiked.”

“While more needs to be done to address the drug pricing crisis, the addition of these two measures to the HELP package marks a positive step toward delivering relief for American patients,” Aronson added. “We look forward to continuing to work with lawmakers and committee leaders in Congress to get these measures passed into law and to take additional steps to lower prescription drug prices for the American people.”

The Creating and Restoring Equal Access To Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act would crack down on REMS abuse, an anti-competitive tactic employed by Big Pharma to deny generic manufacturers access to samples of brand name drugs needed to complete U.S. Food and Drug Administration testing. The CREATES Act was passed by the House in May after winning broad bipartisan support advancing through the committee process. The measure was introduced in the Senate by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and has an additional 30 co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle and representing every region of the country.

The FAIR Drug Pricing Act will require drug companies to justify substantial or rapid list price hikes, adding an important layer of transparency and accountability to Big Pharma and providing a deterrent to price gouging. The bill was introduced in the Senate by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Mike Braun (R-ID) and has been co-sponsored by Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Tina Smith (D-MN).