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 Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee’s passage of a package that includes three amendments that would crack down on Big Pharma’s abuses of the drug pricing system:

“We applaud Chairwoman Murray, ranking member Burr, and members of the Senate HELP Committee for advancing S. 4348, which reauthorizes the FDA user fees and includes three key amendments to improve the U.S. drug pricing system to boost competition by easing the process for generic competition to come to market and drive down drug prices for patients. The bipartisan citizen petition provision, offered by Senator Baldwin (D-WI) and championed by Senators Shaheen (D-NH), Cassidy (R-LA), Bennet (D-CO), and Rubio (R-FL), will help restore integrity to the FDA citizen petition process by closing a loophole manipulated and abused by brand-name drug makers to slow the approval of lower-priced generics and keep prices high for patients.

“For years, the P4ADNow patient community has been calling on Congress to pass legislation to prevent Big Pharma from using the citizen petition process to delay or block more affordable generic drugs from coming to market. On behalf of patients across the country, we thank Senators Baldwin, Shaheen, Cassidy, Bennet, and Rubio for their work fighting for patients.

“We urge the Senate to quickly pass the FDA user fee package with the citizen petition, orphan drug, and generic drug approval transparency reforms intact. 

“The committee’s approval of these provisions adds important momentum to the work being done in the Senate to pass a reconciliation package that includes the comprehensive drug price reforms, including Medicare negotiation, already passed by the House of Representatives. The Senate must advance the reconciliation package to deliver relief to all American patients.”