WASHINGTON, D.C. — The following statement was issued by David Mitchell, a cancer patient and founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now, in response to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s bipartisan, unanimous passage of a package of four bills that would lower drug prices and promote innovation by curbing anticompetitive behavior by pharmaceutical corporations:
“We applaud Chairman Durbin, Ranking Member Grassley, and members of the Senate Judiciary Committee for passing legislation to crack down on anticompetitive drug industry practices and strengthen incentives for true biomedical innovation. This package of bills takes important steps to address abuses of our patent system that inhibit innovation, block competition, and allow drug corporations to raise prices without restraint.
“Today’s unanimous vote also lends important momentum to the larger work in Congress to fix our broken drug pricing system. We will continue to work with Congress this year to enact other needed reforms, including allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices for all Americans.”
- The Senate Judiciary Committee markup took place this morning. Watch the video recording here. The package of bills will next move to the full Senate for a vote.
- The legislative package includes the following bills:
- S. 1435, Affordable Prescriptions for Patients Act of 2021, would amend the Federal Trade Commission Act to define product hopping as anticompetitive and facilitate biosimilar market entry by disincentivizing patent thicketing behavior by biologic drug makers.
- S. 1425, Stop STALLING Act, would eliminate drug company abuse of the Food and Drug Administration’s citizen petition program by deeming submission of sham petitions as anticompetitive under the FTC Act and giving the FTC authority to penalize companies engaged in this behavior.
- S. 1428, Preserve Access to Affordable Generics and Biosimilars Act, would crack down on collusive pay-for-delay settlements by making them presumptively anticompetitive, a reform that would stop brand-name companies from artificially lengthening monopoly periods in an effort to keep more affordable alternatives away from consumers.
- S. 1388, Prescription Pricing for the People Act of 2021, would require the FTC to examine the effects of consolidation on pricing and other potentially abusive behavior within the pharmacy benefit manager industry.