In the Fight With Big Pharma, Congress Finally Throws a Punch for Affordable Prescriptions by Advancing the CREATES Act

June 14, 2018

In the Fight With Big Pharma, Congress Finally Throws a Punch for Affordable Prescriptions by Advancing the CREATES Act

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

Note: Today, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance the CREATES Act (S. 974, H.R. 2212). The CREATES Act would prevent prescription corporations from abusing regulatory rules to deny generic medicines and biosimilar manufacturers access to product samples, that allow these groups to obtain U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval and bring affordable products to market.  Corporations have long used this practice to delay the introduction of price-lowering generic and biosimilar competition, while brand-name manufacturers use it to inappropriately extend their monopolies. The CREATES Act would curb these abuses and promote competition. The CREATES Act has been scored by the U.S. Congressional Budget Office to save $3.8 billion over the next 10 years.

In the fight with Big Pharma, Congress finally threw a punch for affordable prescriptions for families today when it advanced the CREATES Act. Americans overwhelmingly support disciplining Big Pharma to help rein in pharmaceutical prices. The CREATES Act is a start; it is a key structural reform that we can pass this year. We applaud members of the Senate Judiciary Committee who voted to advance the CREATES Act. Congress should pass this legislation without delay.

But to deliver the relief that Americans need, Congress also must go further and leverage government negotiating power to make Medicare Part D more affordable and curbing other monopoly abuses of industry that delay cost-lowering generic competition.