Patients Thank Senator Schumer For Leading Historic Reforms To Lower Drug Prices And Push For Bills To Curb Anti-Competitive Practices And Boost Generic Competition
NEW YORK — Over 100 patients from New York who depend on essential, high-priced medications sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer thanking him for his work to lower drug prices and urging him to continue his efforts to make medicines more affordable by including legislation that would curb patent abuse and increase competition in a January health care package.
The letter to Senator Schumer endorses a package of bipartisan bills, which, having received committee approval, address the anti-competitive tactics employed by drug companies to delay the entry of generic competition necessary to reduce drug prices. These legislative reforms are anticipated to substantially decrease prices and out-of-pocket expenses for millions of patients and result in significant savings for taxpayers.
“We stand in support of the bipartisan bills aimed at curbing these anti-competitive practices,” the letter reads. “We know that you and Senators on both sides of the aisle have been working to advance these measures. It’s critical that we take action now to improve competition and address the loopholes exploited by Big Pharma. Doing so will lead to lower out-of-pocket costs for millions of people and substantial savings for taxpayers.’
The bills included are:
- S. 142 to curb pay-for-delay deals in which brand name drug makers pay would-be generic and biosimilar competitors to keep them from bringing their products to market.
- S. 150 to crack down on patent thickets and product-hopping, which are used to build a patent wall around existing brand name drugs and block lower-priced competition.
- S. 148 and S. 1067 to stop drug company abuse of citizen petitions before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which drug companies use to delay generic and biosimilar market entry.
- S. 775 to improve the ability of the FDA to disclose information generic companies need for speedy approval.
- S. 79 to establish a task force between the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and FDA in order to improve each agency’s patent-related activities.
“As your constituents in New York, we are committed to supporting your efforts to make progress on these critical bills,” the letter continues. “We laud your dedication to this cause and we are eager to see you build on the work you’ve already achieved to ensure these bipartisan bills are enacted to further lower prescription drug prices for patients nationwide.”
Read the full letter and list of signers here and below.
Senator Chuck Schumer
322 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator Schumer,
As patients from New York who rely on expensive medications to treat our illnesses or conditions we are particularly impacted by the high price of prescription drugs. We are writing to express our gratitude for your tireless efforts in championing vital prescription drug reforms to make medications more accessible and affordable for all.
The Inflation Reduction Act was instrumental in securing historic reforms such as drug price negotiation under Medicare, an out-of-pocket cap in Medicare Part D, and inflation-based rebates for drugs in Medicare Part B and D. These initiatives will significantly alleviate the burden of high prescription drug costs for many of us in our community and millions across the country. The actions you’ve taken are positively impacting the lives of seniors, people with disabilities, and many others relying on Medicare for essential medications.
Despite all that progress, we recognize that you are well aware that more work is needed to ensure continued progress to combat exorbitant prescription drug prices. As you know, Big Pharma uses anti-competitive practices, like patent thickets, product hopping, and pay-for-delay arrangements, to hinder the entry of generic and biosimilar medications into the market, obstructing market competition that would reduce drug prices for patients across the country.
We stand in support of the bipartisan bills aimed at curbing these anti-competitive practices. We know that you and Senators on both sides of the aisle have been working to advance these measures. It’s critical that we take action now to improve competition and address the loopholes exploited by Big Pharma. Doing so will lead to lower out-of-pocket costs for millions of people and substantial savings for taxpayers.
As your constituents in New York, we are committed to supporting your efforts to make progress on these critical bills. We laud your dedication to this cause and we are eager to see you build on the work you’ve already achieved to ensure these bipartisan bills are enacted to further lower prescription drug prices for patients nationwide.
Thank you for your unwavering commitment to lower drug prices for all Americans. We stand with you and eagerly anticipate this package of crucial bills being brought to the floor so we can enhance competition for prescription drugs and reduce costs for patients.