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Senators Hassan, Braun Introduce Two Bipartisan Bills to Get More Generics to Market Faster

Generic Medications are Often Less Expensive than their Brand Name Counterparts

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Mike Braun (R-IN) introduced two bipartisan bills today to help get more generic prescription medications, which are often significantly cheaper than their brand-name counterparts, onto the market by closing loopholes Big Pharma exploits to keep prices high. Getting more generics on the market also creates competition, which is one way to help lower prescription drug prices.  

“We cannot stand by and let Big Pharma continue to exploit loopholes that are one factor in driving up prescription drug prices for the average American,” said Senator Hassan. “Although there is still a lot of work to do to lower prescription drug prices, our bipartisan bills take commonsense steps that would increase competition and help more generics get approval more quickly. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support these bills as one part of our efforts to lower medication costs.”

“In the U.S., we pay the highest prices for prescription drugs in the world and prices continue to soar. We can do better. That is why I’m proud to introduce a pair of bipartisan bills that fast-track generic prescription drugs to market and drive down the overall costs for patients. Passing these bills to help Americans in need should be a no-brainer,” said Senator Braun.

Improved Access to Affordable Medications Act: Currently, brand-name manufacturers are exploiting a loophole in a law that Congress passed in 2019. Brand-name manufacturers can purposefully withhold drug samples, which generic manufacturers need to prove that their generic medication acts the same way as its brand-named counterpart under Food and Drug Administration regulations, to stall generics from entering the market, which could undercut their profits. Senators Hassan and Braun’s Improved Access to Affordable Medications Act would help prevent brand-name manufacturers from doing this. Read the bill text here.

Ensuring Access to Generic Medications Act: In addition, many brand-name manufacturers overstate the scope of certain patents to stop the Food and Drug Administration from approving generic competitors. Senators Hassan and Braun’s Ensuring Access to Generic Medications Act would empower generic manufacturers to sue them for this practice. Read the bill text here.

Senators Hassan and Braun also introduced a bipartisan bill earlier this month that would close a different loophole that Big Pharma exploits in order to block medication from entering the market. Last year, Senator Hassan helped secure three bipartisan measures in the most recent year-end funding bill, which is now law, to increase access to generic and biosimilar medications. Senator Hassan also led successful bipartisan efforts to help eliminate surprise medical billing, which has prevented at least 9 million surprise bills.