SALEM, Ore. — The following statement was issued by Sheila McLean, a patient and the executive director of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now, after the Oregon Senate passed SB 764, which cracks down on abusive “pay-for-delay” deals between pharmaceutical manufacturers that delay generic competition and keep drug prices high:
“Oregonians have been suffering from high drug prices at the whim of Big Pharma for far too long. SB 764 would rightfully prohibit pharmaceutical companies from rigging the system to delay less expensive, generic medications from coming to market. This legislation would finally give Oregonians the access to less expensive prescriptions they desperately need. On behalf of patients, we urge the Oregon House to move quickly to pass this bill.”
- SB 764 would:
- Prohibit an anti-competitive drug industry tactic called “pay-for-delay,” in which a brand-name drug maker cuts a deal with a generic company to delay the introduction of a lower-priced drug to market.
- Allow the Oregon attorney general to bring civil action against companies involved in such deals with penalties up to three times the value of the drug, or $10 million (whichever amount is greater).
- Oregon patient advocate Michael Nielsen testified in front of the Senate Committee on Health Care in support of SB 764 in March. Nielsen’s wife, Jacki, was diagnosed with the potentially fatal disease hepatitis C, and her medication is priced at more than $13,000 — or $433 per pill. Nielsen explains how unaffordable this is for the couple in a recent op-ed in The Bend Bulletin, and his story is featured in an article in The Lund Report.
- SB 764 will go to the House Committee on Health Care next, before it moves to the House floor for a vote in the coming weeks.