Lawmakers Hold Strong, Advance Trade Deal Without Big Pharma-Backed Provision on Biologic Exclusivity

Washington, D.C. – The Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing (CSRxP) applauded U.S. Senators Thursday who voted to approve the revised U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) without a provision that would have helped brand name drug companies undermine competition and keep prices high for American patients.

“CSRxP applauds lawmakers in the U.S. Senate for standing up to Big Pharma to pass this historic trade deal that puts American patients first by supporting generic and biosimilar competition,” said CSRxP executive director Lauren Aronson. “Congress and the White House have rightly recognized that at a time when 58 million Americans struggle to afford their prescription drugs, it would be a step in the wrong direction to further enable Big Pharma’s anti-competitive tactics.”

“But much more must be done to provide relief to Americans struggling with out-of-control prescription drug prices,” Aronson continued. “The Senate must extend the same resolve it showed in denying Big Pharma this carveout by holding the industry accountable and lowering drug prices by swiftly passing the Senate Finance package.”

Big Pharma lobbied intensely to keep the provision in the original version of the historic trade agreement and to re-insert the language when it was removed from the revised deal negotiated by the White House and leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives.

CSRxP was among the first and most consistent voices to raise red flags over the provision and its potential impact on prescription drug prices and market competition. In a June letter to members of Congress, CSRxP detailed concerns with the provision favored by brand name drug companies.

The concerns outlined by CSRxP included provisions related to biologic exclusivity, the definition of a biologic and the scope of drug exclusivities – provisions in the original draft agreement that could hamper generic and biosimilar competition.

Read CSRxP’s June letter calling on Congress and the White House to amend USMCA to remove the Big Pharma carveout HERE.

Read CSRxP’s June statement on USMCA HERE.

Read CSRxP’s October statement reiterating the need to amend the deal to remove the Pharma-backed provision HERE.

Read CSRxP’s December statement applauding the removal of the anti-competitive provision in the revised agreement put forward by the White House and U.S. House leaders HERE.

Read more on the urgency for the U.S. Senate to now pass The Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act, also called Grassley-Wyden, HERE.

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