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Senator Hassan Introduces Legislation to Crack Down on Big Pharma Monopoly and Lower Prescription Drug Costs

Affordable Medications Act Would Help Promote Innovation for New Drugs and Curb Monopoly Practices that Keep Drug Prices Artificially High

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH), a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, joined her colleagues in reintroducing comprehensive legislation to tackle the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs.

 

The Affordable Medications Act would help reduce health care costs for the more than 307,000 Granite Staters who rely on Medicare by increasing competition and transparency for drug companies that are setting exorbitant prices on their products, and allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices. The bill would also promote innovation for new drugs and curb monopoly practices that keep prices high and prevent less expensive generics from coming to market.

 

“As Granite Staters struggle to pay for lifesaving medications, the pharmaceutical industry is padding its pockets by raising prescription drug costs to some of the highest levels in the world,” Senator Hassan said. “This bill would take long overdue steps to hold Big Pharma accountable and lower the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs through commonsense measures, including allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices. The cost of health care in this country is too high, and I will keep working to address the longstanding challenges that too many Granite Staters face in affording their prescriptions.”

 

The Affordable Medications Act will:

  • Increase transparency by holding pharmaceutical companies accountable for their role in setting high prices;
  • Increase affordability by allowing Medicare to use its buying power to negotiate lower prices, and allowing for the safe importation of cheaper drugs from other countries, like Canada;
  • Spur innovation by creating an Innovation Incentive fund for new antibiotics, and publicly funding clinical trials for new drugs; and
  • Protect competition by blocking unfair and anticompetitive drug monopolies and helping more generic competitors come to market.

 

Senator Hassan is working across the aisle to lower health care costs for Granite Staters and Americans, and led successful, bipartisan efforts with Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) to secure a provision, signed into law in December, to help end the practice of surprise medical billing. Senators Hassan and Cassidy also successfully passed into law their bipartisan legislation to enhance education about biosimilar drug products in an effort to increase competition and lower the cost of biologic medicines. Additionally, the American Rescue Plan, which Senator Hassan helped pass into law, will help lower health care costs for many Granite Staters who purchase health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act marketplaces.

 

As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Hassan also voted to advance bipartisan legislation in 2019 to lower prescription drugs costs by enacting a cap on out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for Medicare Part D beneficiaries and cracking down on pharmaceutical companies that raise drug prices higher than inflation. Senator Hassan is continuing to work to pass similar legislation. The Senator also recently reintroduced bipartisan legislation to lower the cost of health care by allowing individuals to import safe prescription drugs from Canada.

 

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