May 15, 2019

New Democrat Coalition Endorses Prescription Drug Legislation

Washington, DC – Today, the New Democrat Coalition announced its endorsement of prescription drug bills that would will help promote transparency in pricing and protect and improve access to lower cost generic drugs.

  • H.R. 1781, the bipartisan “Payment Commission Data Act of 2019,” introduced by Reps. Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ) and Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), provides the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) and the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) with access to drug pricing and rebate data in order for these independent, non-partisan commissions to help Congress better understand the true costs of prescription drugs to consumers and taxpayers.
  • H.R. 938, the "Bringing Low-cost Options and Competition while Keeping Incentives for New Generics (BLOCKING) Act of 2019," introduced by Reps. Kurt Schrader (D-OR), would discourage parking of 180-day exclusivity by a first generic applicant that is blocking the approval of other generics.
  • H.R. 1520, the "Purple Book Continuity Act of 2019" would codify publication of the patents of approved biological products in the Purple Book in a similar format and with similar requirements to the Orange Book, specify that the Purple Book should be published electronically on FDA’s website and updated routinely, and direct FDA to consider the types of patents that should be listed in the Purple Book.
  • H.R. 1503, the "Orange Book Transparency Act of 2019" would help to ensure that the Orange Book is accurate and up-to-date, by requiring manufacturers to share complete and timely information with FDA, as well as ensuring that patents listed in the Orange Book are relevant to the approved drug product. Patents found to be invalid through a court decision or a decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board would be required to be removed promptly.
  • H.R. 1499, the "Protecting Consumer Access to Generic Drugs Act of 2019" would make it illegal for brand-name and generic drug manufacturers to enter into agreements in which the brand-name drug manufacturer pays the generic manufacturer to keep a generic equivalent off the market.
  • H.R. 965, the "Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act of 2019" would establish a process by which generic manufacturers could obtain sufficient quantities of brand drug samples for testing thereby deterring gaming of safety protocols that brand manufacturers use to delay or impede generic entry. 

New Democrat Coalition Chair Kilmer added:

“Millions of Americans, including folks all across our region, are struggling to keep up with the increasing costs of health care and prescription drugs. In the greatest nation in the world, families shouldn’t have to choose between putting food on the table and paying for medication or other critical health care services. These bills are a step in the right direction towards making health care more affordable, protecting people with pre-existing conditions, and lowering prescription drug costs.” 

This comes after the New Dems urged House leaders to prioritize strengthening the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and continue the path toward affordable universal coverage. We have been encouraged by Democratic Leadership’s steps to undo the sabotage done to the ACA, and look forward to building on this work through the legislative progress of our Members.