House Passes Cicilline’s Bipartisan Bill to Lower Cost of Prescription Drugs

May 16, 2019

WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives passed Antitrust Chairman David N. Cicilline’s (D-RI-01) Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act, a bill that will save taxpayers $3.9 billion and lower the cost of some prescription drugs by as much as 85%. Cicilline spoke in favor of the bill during debate (click here to watch now).

 

“It’s disgraceful that, in the richest most powerful country in the history of the world, one out of every four Americans cannot afford the drugs a doctor prescribes for them,” said Cicilline. “If our government is going to work for the people, then the people who serve in government need to end this crisis. I’m proud that the House passed this bill today. Now it’s up to Mitch McConnell to bring this bill to the Senate floor and get it to the President’s desk. He should do so without delay.”

 

The CREATES Act will prohibit big pharmaceutical companies from engaging in anti-competitive conduct to prevent generic versions of prescription drugs from entering the marketplace. It lowers drug prices by increasing competition and making it easier for generic drugs to enter the marketplace. The bill prohibits pharmaceutical corporations from using the regulatory process to block the entry of affordable generic drugs to the market. In addition, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is given more discretion and authority for court action to stop abusive, anti-competitive practices by brand-drug companies.

 

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the CREATES Act will result in a $3.9 billion net decrease in the federal deficit, with savings to consumers and private insurers likely being far greater. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the inclusion of generic drugs in the marketplace can reduce prices for consumers by more than 85% off the brand-name price.

 

The CREATES Act is co-sponsored by Congressman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI-05), who serves as Ranking Member of the Antitrust Subcommittee. Other co-sponsors of the CREATES Act include Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY-10), Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Doug Collins (R-GA-09), Congressman Peter Welch (D-VT-AL), and Congressman David B. McKinley (R-WV-01).

 

An identical companion bill has been introduced in the Senate by Senators Leahy (D-Vt.), Grassley (R-Iowa), Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Lee (R-Utah).