WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) issued the following statement on the announcement that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed suit against ViroPharma Inc. for violating antitrust laws and blocking consumers’ access to a lower-cost generic version of Vancocin HC1 Capsules. Klobuchar has introduced bipartisan legislation to stop anticompetitive practices that increase prescription drug prices.
"When drug companies delay generic competition, American consumers pay the price. That’s what this case is about,” said Klobuchar. “I’ll keep fighting to protect consumers and ensure competition in the marketplace.”
Klobuchar has championed efforts to address the high cost of prescription drugs, authoring multiple pieces of legislation that would protect American consumers. The bipartisan Preserve Access to Affordable Generics Act Klobuchar introduced with Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) would crack down on anti-competitive pay-offs in which branded companies pay their generic competitors not to compete as part of a patent settlement. These pay-off settlements (also known as “reverse payments”) delay consumer access to generic drugs, which can be as much as 90 percent cheaper than brand-name drugs. The legislation would stop these anti-competitive pay-off agreements to keep more affordable generic equivalents off the market and make sure consumers have access to the cost saving generics they need. She also introduced the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act, which would allow for Medicare to negotiate the best possible price of prescription drugs. Klobuchar joined with Senators Grassley, Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Mike Lee (R-UT) to introduce the Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act to deter pharmaceutical companies from blocking cheaper generic alternatives from entering the marketplace. In addition, Klobuchar introduced the Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act with Senator John McCain (R-AZ) that would require the Food and Drug Administration to establish a personal importation program that would allow individuals to import a 90-day supply of prescription drugs from an approved Canadian pharmacy.