WASHINGTON– U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) released the below statement today following Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb’s announcement that the FDA will make public a list of pharmaceutical companies that are blocking their generic competitors from accessing samples of their products. In April of 2017, Klobuchar and a bipartisan group of Senators introduced the Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act to deter these types of anticompetitive pharmaceutical company tactics that delay cheaper alternatives from entering the marketplace.
“It’s long past time to do something about pharmaceutical companies’ abusive delay tactics—like refusing to provide drug samples to their generic competitors—that have led to skyrocketing prescription drug prices. This announcement by the FDA will help inject more competition into the marketplace, leading to lower prescription drug costs and more choices for American consumers. But we still need more action. The Senate should pass the bipartisan CREATES Act to put safeguards against these anticompetitive tactics in place to protect consumer choice and save taxpayers billions of dollars.”
Klobuchar has championed efforts to protect consumers and lower prescription drug costs by promoting competition in the healthcare system, authoring multiple pieces of bipartisan legislation that would address the high cost of prescription drugs. Klobuchar introduced legislation—that has 33 cosponsors—to lift the ban on Medicare negotiating for the best possible price of prescription drugs for nearly 41 million seniors enrolled in Medicare Part D. Last year, Klobuchar and Senator John McCain (R-AZ) introduced the Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act, bipartisan legislation that would allow individuals to safely import prescription drugs from Canada. Klobuchar has also introduced the bipartisan Preserve Access to Affordable Generics Act with Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) to expand consumers’ access to the cost-saving generic drugs they need and increase competition by limiting “pay for delay” deals—the practice of brand-name drug companies using anti-competitive pay-off agreements to keep more affordable generic equivalents off the market. Klobuchar’s Short on Competition Act, introduced with Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), would allow temporary importation of drugs that have been approved in another country with similar safety requirements and face little or no competition in the U.S.