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CREATES Act – A Serious Start to Disciplining Pharmaceutical Corporations

Feb. 6, 2019

CREATES Act – A Serious Start to Disciplining Pharmaceutical Corporations

Statement of Steve Knievel, Access to Medicines Advocate, Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines Program

Note: Today, U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), and U.S. Reps. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and David McKinley (R-W.Va.) helped introduce the CREATES Act in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. The CREATES Act would combat corporate monopoly tactics used by many brand-name prescription and biologic companies to block entry of lower-cost generic medicines. The legislation also would provide the U.S. Food and Drug Administration increased discretion to approve safety protocols. The CREATES Act has wide bipartisan support and has been estimated by the U.S. Congressional Budget Office to lower federal spending by $3.9 billion over 10 years.

The CREATES Act is a serious start to disciplining pharmaceutical corporations, which abuse their already excessive power and make medicine more expensive by blocking competition even after patents expire. We all have had enough. Today is a beginning for bipartisan action that directly challenges Big Pharma. It is incumbent on all of us to ensure Congress ramp up its action from here.

The CREATES Act is a meaningful improvement on the status quo. CREATES will help stop pharma abuses that forestall the competition which is essential for access to medicines. Members of Congress should pass and the president should sign into law the CREATES Act without delay. But legislators also must advance policies that leverage government negotiating power, stop price spikes and challenge the monopoly power of industry. People are demanding robust reforms that overhaul the broken pharma business model, which forces patients to cut pills in half and ration treatment, and to make impossible choices between taking medicines as prescribed or paying for other essentials.