WASHINGTON, D.C. — The following statement was issued by Sarah Kaminer Bourland, the legislative director of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now, following the House Judiciary Committee’s markup of four bills that would crack down on the drug industry’s patent abuses and promote competition in the pharmaceutical market:
“Drug companies are abusing our patent system to protect their profits and extend monopolies beyond what the law intended. These anti-competitive tactics undermine innovation and force patients to pay higher prices for longer periods of time.
“While Medicare negotiation is the cornerstone of comprehensive drug pricing reform, we applaud the House Judiciary Committee for advancing these bipartisan bills that are critical to restoring balance in our system and curbing practices such as product hopping, pay-for-delay deals, frivolous citizen petitions, and patent thicketing. Patients deserve both Medicare negotiation and patent reform, and we look forward to making sure they’re passed into law this year.”
- Today, the House Judiciary Committee completed its markup and voted the following bipartisan bills favorably out of committee:
- Affordable Prescriptions for Patients Through Promoting Competition Act of 2021 (H.R. 2873), led by Reps. Cicilline (D-RI), Buck (R-CO), Nadler (D-NY), and Maloney (D-NY), prohibits product hopping.
- Stop Stalling Access to Affordable Medications Act (H.R. 2883), led by Reps. Jeffries (D-NY), Buck (R-CO), Nadler (D-NY), Cicilline (D-RI), and Maloney (D-NY), bans pharmaceutical companies from submitting sham citizen petitions to the FDA to delay the approval of generic competitors. The Senate companion bill, S. 1425, was unanimously voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee in July.
- Affordable Prescriptions for Patients Through Improvements to Patent Litigation Act (H.R. 2884), led by Reps. Johnson (D-GA) and Issa (R-CA), streamlines the process for biosimilar approval and disincentives patent thickets by the manufacturers of expensive biologic drugs.
- Preserve Access to Affordable Generics and Biosimilars Act (H.R. 2891), led by Reps. Nadler (D-NY), Buck (R-CO), Cicilline (D-RI), and Maloney (D-NY), bans anticompetitive pay-for-delay deals that impede introduction of affordable generics. The Senate companion bill, S. 1428, was unanimously voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee in July.
- This markup follows the House Ways and Means Committee’s recent voteto advance H.R. 3, a comprehensive bill that allows Medicare to negotiate lower prices, as part of the reconciliation package. The Senate Finance Committee is also currently drafting legislation that will allow Medicare to negotiate, which would deliver on the president’s Build Back Better plan under rules of reconciliation.