CSRxP: Policymakers Must Remove Big Pharma Carveout in USMCA

Oct 23, 2019

Washington Can Put Patients First By Amending Trade Provision That Would Hamper Generic and Biosimilar Competition

Washington, D.C. – The Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing (CSRxP) reiterated Wednesday the urgent need for the administration and Congress to amend the proposed U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) to remove provisions that would help Big Pharma prevent competition and raise prices.

“As USMCA enters a final stage of consideration in Washington, it is vital that policymakers stand up for American patients by amending the current deal to support generic and biosimilar competition,” said CSRxP executive director Lauren Aronson. “At a time when one in four Americans can’t afford their medications, we can’t afford to hand Big Pharma more tools to put in their anti-competitive, price-gouging toolbox.”

Recent reports indicate Big Pharma is working particularly hard to protect provisions in the proposed agreement that would delay biosimilar competition.

“Washington must seize this opportunity to stand up to Big Pharma and put American patients first by amending USMCA to support greater affordability and competition,” Aronson added.

In a June letter to members of Congress, CSRxP detailed concerns with the provision favored by brand name drug makers.

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 draft agreement that could hamper generic and biosimilar competition.

“Congress has a tremendous opportunity to ensure the USMCA aligns with the goals set out in the Bipartisan Trade Priorities Act of 2015, which included a commitment to patient access to more-affordable generic and biosimilar medicines both in the United States and abroad,” Aronson wrote in the letter. “We strongly encourage members of Congress to work in a bipartisan manner to see the USMCA amended to protect American patients by addressing these concerns.”

Read CSRxP’s June letter on USMCA HERE.