Reschenthaler Supports Legislation to Make Prescription Drugs More Affordable
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, Congressman Guy Reschenthaler (PA-14) supported two pieces of legislation aimed at making prescription drugs more affordable for hardworking Americans. The bills, H.R. 3991, the Affordable Prescriptions for Patients Through Improvements to Patent Litigation Act of 2019, and H.R. 5133, the Affordable Prescriptions for Patients Through Promoting Competition Act of 2019, passed the House Judiciary Committee with unanimous support, and now await action on the House floor.
“When I meet with people across southwestern Pennsylvania, one of the issues that always comes up is the high cost of prescription drugs,” said Reschenthaler. “It’s not right that there are Americans who have to choose between buying needed medication or putting food on the table for their families. I am pleased that the Judiciary Committee passed legislation to ease this burden, and I will continue working in a bipartisan manner to ensure critical medications are affordable for all Americans.”
The Affordable Prescriptions for Patients Through Improvements to Patent Litigation Act of 2019 (H.R. 3991) seeks to bring down prescription drug prices by making it easier for generic drug manufacturers to get their products to consumers. Specifically, the bill establishes a formula for the number of patents that a biologic company can assert against a biosimilars company seeking to introduce a competing biosimilar, ending the patent gamesmanship that has prevented lower-priced generics from entering the market.
The Affordable Prescriptions for Patients Through Promoting Competition Act of 2019 (H.R. 5133) would address “product hopping,” an anticompetitive practice in which a manufacturer unfairly encourages consumers to shift from one drug that is losing market exclusivity to another, similar drug that will have market exclusivity for a longer amount of time. Specifically, the bill gives the Federal Trade Commission the authority to prosecute pharmaceutical manufacturers that create non-substantive changes to prescriptions simply to prevent generics from entering the marketplace.
“Congress must continue to put forth real solutions that will make prescription drugs more affordable for Pennsylvanians,” said Reschenthaler. “This issue is too important for partisan politics.”