WASHINGTON – Today, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee voted on a strong bipartisan basis, 19-2, to pass Senator Hassan’s key bill to get generics to market more quickly, which will help lower prescription drug prices.
“Granite Staters and Americans continue to struggle to afford the medications that they need – and my measure will help increase access to lower-cost generic medications,” said Senator Hassan. “I am glad that we came together on a bipartisan basis to pass this measure. It takes on Big Pharma by increasing competition and reduces the federal deficit by nearly $1 billion over ten years – all while leading to lower costs for families. I’ll continue to work to pass my bipartisan measure into law.”
Today the HELP Committee voted to pass Senators Hassan and Rand Paul’s Increasing Transparency in Generic Drug Applications Act. Currently, the FDA requires certain generic drug manufacturers to demonstrate that they have the same active and inactive ingredients in the same concentration as the reference brand name drug. However, when a generic drug contains the wrong amount of inactive ingredient, the FDA cannot disclose the exact error, forcing manufacturers to engage in an often lengthy guessing game to reach the right balance. This legislation would require the FDA to more clearly identify the specific differences between the generic and brand name drug, thereby streamlining the approval process, helping more generics reach the market faster, and lowering prescription drug prices overall. Representative Kuster is leading the effort to pass this bill in the House.
This measure is part of Senator Hassan’s ongoing efforts to expand access to low-cost generic medications. The most recent government funding bill, which is now law, included three bipartisan measures backed by Senator Hassan to increase access to generic and biosimilar medications. In addition, Senator Hassan led successful bipartisan efforts to help eliminate surprise medical billing, which has prevented at least 9 million surprise bills. Additionally, the Inflation Reduction Act included a number of key provisions that Senator Hassan pushed for to take on Big Pharma and address the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs, including allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices – which will bring down the cost of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries and help drive down prices across the board – and capping out-of-pocket expenses for Medicare prescription drugs.