Another McCaskill Bill to Become Law: Plan with Collins to Tackle Cost of Rx Drugs Headed to President’s Desk

Bipartisan provision will increase competition to help lower costs of prescription drugs

WASHINGTON – Bipartisan legislation from U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill and Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine to increase competition for generic drugs and help lower prescription costs now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

“Prescription drugs aren’t a luxury item—for many, they’re lifesavers, and Missouri families shouldn’t have to choose between their prescriptions and their groceries,” McCaskill said. “We’ve got to bring down the cost of prescription drugs, and a fundamental way to do that is through generic competition. That’s why this plan by Senator Collins and me will make a difference—and why I’m thrilled it’s headed to the President’s desk to be signed into law.”

“Drug companies should not be able to increase their prices dramatically by thousands of percent overnight without any justification or development of the drug to improve its effectiveness, for example,” said Senator Collins in remarks from the Senate floor. “Our legislation will help to foster a much healthier and more competitive marketplace as the best defense against such exploitation. I am pleased that our bipartisan plan will increase generic competition, which is so important to American families and particularly our seniors, who take a disproportionate number of the prescription drugs that are prescribed in this country.”

Both the Senate and U.S. House of Representatives recently passed key provisions of the Senators’ Making Pharmaceutical Markets More Competitive Act as part of the FDA Reauthorization Act.

The Senators’ bipartisan legislation takes a number of steps to enhance regulatory certainty for generic drug companies by setting forth a priority review timeline for qualified generic applications, providing enhanced communications with eligible sponsors to expedite the review and development of certain applications, improving transparency and reporting requirements, and providing timelines for facility inspections.

This legislation builds on the only bipartisan investigation into the causes, impacts, and potential solutions to the egregious price spikes for certain drugs, which was led by the Aging Committee last Congress. From the beginning, the investigation strived to understand why companies can make these large price increases and to identify which policies should be considered to counter these disturbing practices.

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