WASHINGTON—Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, introduced bipartisan legislation to crack down on anti-competitive pay-for-delay pharmaceutical deals Thursday. The Preserve Access to Affordable Generics Act 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, a news release said. 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, the release said.

"Outrageous pay-for-delay pharmaceutical deals thwart competition and raise prescription drug prices for consumers," Klobuchar said. "Our legislation would put an end to this harmful practice that keeps generic drugs off the market. I'll continue to push to ensure that consumers have access to the drugs they need at a price they can afford."

Klobuchar and Grassley introduced similar legislation last Congress following a Federal Trade Commission report demonstrating that a significant number of potential pay-for-delay settlements continue to occur.