Cicilline, Sensenbrenner Announce Bipartisan Bill to Lower Prescription Drug Costs

Feb 5, 2019

WASHINGTON – Hours before President Trump delivers his second State of the Union Address, House Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman David N. Cicilline (RI-01) and Ranking Member Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05) introduced legislation to prohibit pharmaceutical and biologic companies from engaging in anti-competitive conduct that blocks lower-cost generic drugs from entering the market.


H.R. 965, The Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act is co-sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Ranking Member Doug Collins (GA-09), Congressman Peter Welch (VT-AL), and Congressman David B. McKinley (WV-01). An identical version of the bill was introduced in the Senate by Senators Leahy (D-Vt.), Grassley (R-Iowa), Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Lee (R-Utah).


“No one should go broke because they can’t afford the cost of their prescription drugs. What pharmaceutical companies are doing is unconscionable. It needs to end,” said Cicilline. “This bipartisan bill will make it easier for generic drugs to enter the market. It will increase competition and help bring down prescription drug costs across the board. I’m pleased to be introducing it with Ranking Member Sensenbrenner today. I look forward to working with him as we pass this bill into law.”


“Americans of all ages are burdened by high prescription drug prices, and we must address this growing issue. I’m proud to sponsor this common-sense bill that will implement market-based solutions, making prescription drugs more affordable, saving taxpayers money, and providing much-needed relief to the American people,” added Ranking Member Sensenbrenner. “I thank Chairman Cicilline as well as Chairman Nadler and Ranking Member Collins for working with me on this bipartisan effort.”


“The outrageous cost of prescription drugs is a moral crisis,” said Chairman Nadler. “I am very proud to join Subcommittee Chairman Cicilline, Ranking Member Collins, and Subcommittee Ranking Member Sensenbrenner to introduce this important measure. The CREATES Act will spur new competition where there is none today, saving working Americans billions of dollars. Most importantly, enacting this bill will save lives as families with competitive options for blockbuster drugs won’t have to choose between their health and financial security.”


“The price of pharmaceuticals has a huge impact on families across the United States,” said Collins. “This legislation is a great starting point from which we can work to help lower drug prices and increase access to generic options. I thank Reps. Cicilline and Sensenbrenner for their leadership in introducing this bill and look forward to collaborating on it going forward.”


“Skyrocketing prescription drug prices are crushing hardworking Americans,” added Welch. “This commonsense legislation will bring down costs by reigning in the predatory efforts of pharmaceutical companies to delay access to cost-effective generic alternatives to brand name drugs. I look forward to getting this legislation passed so we can provide much-needed relief to consumers and save taxpayers millions of dollars.”


“The high cost of prescription drugs requires many Americans to make difficult financial decisions for themselves and their families. This bipartisan bill will help provide patient access to lifesaving medications at affordable prices,” Rep. McKinley said. “Families should never have to decide between affording their medications and grocery shopping. This legislation will prevent pharmaceutical companies from blocking affordable alternatives from entering the market and will help keep money in Americans’ pockets.”


The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the CREATES Act will result in a $3.9 billion net decrease in the federal deficit. Savings to consumers and private insurers likely would be far greater.


The CREATES Act is strongly supported by the Association for Accessible Medicines (AAM), consumer groups including AARP, Consumers Union, and Public Citizen; the American College of Physicians; the American Hospital Association; the Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing; and America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP).