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Bipartisan Group of Members Introduce Legislation to Improve Access to Lower Cost Generic Drugs

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Yesterday Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman, Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts, and Rep. Tim Murphy introduced H.R. 3988, the "Generic Drug and Biosimilar User Fee Act of 2012." The bipartisan legislation authorizes a generic drug user fee proposal that was recently agreed to by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and generic drug manufacturers. The user fee provides resources to the FDA to ensure that patients have access to lower cost generic drugs more quickly. It also will enable FDA to inspect foreign and domestic manufacturers at the same biennial rate based on risk, thereby providing a level playing field for domestic and foreign manufacturers.

"This bipartisan legislation will give FDA the authority and resources it needs to review generic drug and biosimilars applications in a timely and effective manner. For some time, FDA's generic drug review program has been starved of resources, which has meant fewer generic drugs on the market, and consequently higher medication prices for American patients. At long last, this legislation will help turn this untenable situation around," said Rep. Waxman, Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

"This bill establishes two critically important programs at FDA that will help speed the delivery of low-cost drugs and other promising medicines to patients. Generics have saved more than $824 billion over the last decade and have substantially reduced costs to consumers. Both programs created by this bill will have significant impact on health care, and I look forward to its expeditious passage," said Rep. Pallone, Ranking Member of the Health Subcommittee.

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