Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) reintroduced the Preserving Access to Affordable Generics and Biosimilars Act and the Stop Significant and Time-wasting Abuse Limiting Legitimate Innovation of New Generics (Stop STALLING) Act to promote competition and reduce drug costs.
“Addressing the rising costs of prescription drugs has continued to be one of my top priorities. During my 99 county meetings, I consistently hear from my constituents across Iowa who are increasingly concerned about the high costs of prescription drugs. Americans shouldn’t be worried about buying their much-needed medications or getting food on the table,” Grassley said. “I’m proud to introduce bipartisan proposals that will help mitigate these costs. While this is just one piece of the puzzle to improve access to affordable medications, it’s a good start.”
“Every American should have access to affordable health care, but anticompetitive practices and excessive consolidation contribute to rising costs that keep essential treatments and medications out of reach for too many. We must take action to put an end to industry practices that undermine competition and delay the approval of more affordable drugs,” Klobuchar said.
The Preserving Access to Affordable Generics and Biosimilars Act would limit anticompetitive “pay-for-delay deals” that prevent or delay the introduction of affordable follow-on or generic versions of branded pharmaceuticals. Pay-for-delay deals – the practice in which drug companies use pay-off agreements to delay the introduction of cheaper substitutes – increase the cost of prescriptions and impose significant costs on our health care system. The legislation covers pay-for-delay deals affecting biosimilar and interchangeable biologics in addition to generic drugs.
The Stop STALLING Act would reduce the incentives for branded pharmaceutical companies to file sham petitions with the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to interfere with the regulatory approval of generics and biosimilars that would compete with their own products, a tactic that delays patient access to more affordable medications. The bill would give the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enhanced authority to take action against those who file sham petitions.
Grassley and Klobuchar have consistently partnered to tackle the rising costs of prescription drugs. Last year, along with their colleagues, they introduced the Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act, to deter pharmaceutical companies from blocking cheaper generic alternatives from entering the marketplace. Earlier this year, they also reintroduced the Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act, which would allow individuals to safely import prescription drugs from Canada, creating savings for consumers and bringing greater competition into the pharmaceutical market.