Stabenow Provision Lowering Prescription Drug Prices Passes House
Bipartisan effort will eliminate frivolous petitions that delay access to generic drugs
U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) today announced that the House of Representatives has passed her bipartisan provision that would put an end to frivolous petitions used by brand drug companies to delay the entrance of generic drugs into the marketplace, robbing consumers and businesses of affordable choices. The delayed access to lower priced generics costs employers, health insurance providers, government health programs and consumers hundreds of millions of dollars. The provision was part of the larger Food and Drug Administration Authorization Bill and will now come back to the Senate for final passage.
"This provision will increase competition, which means lower prescription drug prices for consumers and employers," said Stabenow. "When so many Americans are struggling to pay for the prescription drugs they need, we must put the needs of patients first and ensure access to quality, affordable healthcare. I am happy to see this important legislation pass the House and I am hopeful my Senate colleagues will soon have the same opportunity."
Between the passage of the Medicare Modernization Act in late 2003 and April 30, 2006, the FDA ruled on twenty-five petitions filed by brand drug companies requesting delay - or outright denial - of approval of a competing generic drug. Twenty-three of these petitions were found to be frivolous, but still served to restrict competition from lower cost drugs, for days, weeks, months and in some cases years. A delay of even a few days meant an increased cost of $4 million to consumers and businesses in the case of one drug. Drugs that have been delayed for months have meant an increased cost of $50 million and more.