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Following Bipartisan Push from Senator Hassan, Federal Agencies Take Action to Lower Prescription Drug Costs

WASHINGTON – Following a bipartisan push from Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have announced that they will work to close oversight gaps that delay generic drug approvals – and in turn keep drug prices high. Senators Hassan and Cassidy recently wrote a letter to the agencies calling for this action. 


“As Granite Staters continue to struggle with high prescription drug costs, we need to do all that we can to give them relief,” said Senator Hassan. “I am glad that the Patent and Trademark Office and Food and Drug Administration heeded my call to close oversight gaps that delay generic drugs, which will support our collective efforts to lower prices for families. I will continue working with my colleagues to bring down the costs of prescription drugs and hold Big Pharma accountable.”


The lack of coordination between the PTO and FDA has allowed the pharmaceutical industry to obtain patents of questionable validity. Through these patents, drug manufacturers are able to delay the entry of generic drugs and extend higher monopoly prices. By taking this action, the agencies will work to close these gaps and help in efforts to lower prices.


Senator Hassan is working to lower health care costs for Granite Staters, including by pushing to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices. The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions recently voted on a bipartisan basis to pass Senator Hassan’s bipartisan measures that will increase generic drug competition. In addition, Senator Hassan led successful, bipartisan efforts with Senator Cassidy to help end the practice of surprise medical billing, which is now in effect. They also successfully passed into law their bipartisan legislation to enhance education about biosimilar drug products in an effort to increase competition and lower drug costs.