The Preserve Access to Affordable Generics Act – which has been incorporated into the prescription drug package that was introduced today- would increase consumers’ access to cost-saving generic drugs by helping put an end to pay-offs by brand-name drug manufacturers that keep cheaper generic equivalents off the market
Klobuchar’s bill has received support from major pro-consumer groups like AARP, Consumers Union, and Public Citizen
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar’s (D-MN) bipartisan legislation to crack down on anti-competitive pay-for-delay pharmaceutical deals has received support from several major pro-consumer groups. The Preserve Access to Affordable Generics Act that Klobuchar introduced with Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) earlier this year would stop anti-competitive pay-offs in which branded companies pay their generic competitors not to compete as part of a patent settlement. Klobuchar’s bill, which has been incorporated into the prescription drug package that was introduced today, has received support from major pro-consumer groups like AARP, Consumers Union, and Public Citizen.
“Outrageous pay-for-delay pharmaceutical deals thwart competition and raise prescription drug prices for consumers,” Klobuchar said. “My bipartisan legislation – which is supported by major pro-consumer groups – would put an end to this harmful practice that keeps generic drugs off the market. I’ll keep fighting so that consumers can fill the prescriptions they need at prices they can afford.”
The AARP has expressed support for pay-for-delay proposals. “AARP believes that eliminating pay-for-delay agreements will result in additional savings for consumers and taxpayers,” said Robert G. Romasco, former President of AARP during an antitrust subcommittee hearing in 2013.
"Pay-for-delay deals cheat consumers out of having more affordable generic alternatives for the prescription drugs they need,” said George Slover, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union, the policy and mobilization arm of Consumer Reports. “This bill would give the FTC a clearer enforcement pathway to take action to stop these anti-competition and anti-consumer deals. We thank Senator Klobuchar and Senator Grassley for leading this bipartisan effort.”
“We support this legislation that was introduced by Senator Klobuchar and Senator Grassley that will help crackdown on pay-for-delay deals and lower costs for consumers,” said Peter Maybarduk, Director at Public Citizen.
Consumer groups like Campaign for Sustainable RX Pricing, which is a coalition of hospitals, physicians, employers, consumers, pharmacists and health plans, also favor increased oversight of “Pay for Delay” Settlements, stating that “policymakers should encourage robust oversight and opposition to settlements that are deemed anticompetitive and prevent generics from entering the market in a timely manner.” They continue, “these patent dispute settlements – often referred to as "pay for delay" – result in a generic company agreeing to refrain from marketing its generic product for a specific period of time in return for compensation (often undisclosed) from the branded company.”
Klobuchar’s 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. 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.
Klobuchar has championed efforts to address the high cost of prescription drugs, authoring multiple pieces of legislation that would protect American consumers. She 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. She also introduced the bipartisan Short on Competition Act with Lee that would allow the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to grant expedited reviews and inspections, and temporary importation when there are fewer than five competitors on drugs that have been on the market for at least 10 years.