Rep. Kelly Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Reduce Prescription Drug Prices

Legislation tackles leading driver of health care costs

WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) – a member of the House Ways and Means Committee – released the following statement today after introducing H.R. 2562, the Making Pharmaceutical Markets More Competitive Act, in the House of Representatives. The legislation requires the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prioritize the review of generic drug applications within eight months for medications that do not have more than three approved competitors or are on the federal drug shortage list. Such an expedited approval process would allow qualified drugs to get to market quicker and vastly expand competition between prescription medications, thereby lowering prices for patients. The Senate companion to this bill (S. 1115) was introduced by U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Tom Cotton (R-AR), and Al Franken (D-MN) on May 11, 2017.

“Everyone knows that one of the leading drivers of health care costs in America is the sky-rocketing price of prescription drugs. This impacts how hardworking Americans budget their money, care for their families, and plan for their futures. When it comes to caring for the elderly, paying for the cost of medicine is often the greatest challenge. This year alone, prescription drug prices for seniors are expected to rise by nearly 10 percent. Unfortunately, more competition and lower prices are being inhibited by a backlog of thousands of generic drug applications at the FDA. A shorter wait time will bring cheaper alternatives to market quicker.

“With prescription drug prices rising the way they are, the best solution is more competition, not less. It’s widely understood that pricing controls lead to harmful shortages, stifle life-saving research, and simply don’t work. Instead, this commonsense bill will foster a more competitive pharmaceutical industry where doctors and patients have access to more affordable alternatives. By creating an expedited review process for certain generic drugs where there is little existing competition, such a reform can be powerfully effective in reducing health care costs and directly benefit millions of Americans of all ages.”

NOTE: H.R. 2562 represents the third piece of bipartisan legislation introduced by Rep. Kelly this year as a part of Phase Three of the process to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and lower the cost of health care. The first was H.R. 173, the Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act of 2017, introduced with Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) on January 3, 2017. The second was H.R. 2310, the Faith in Health Savings Accounts Act, introduced with Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN) on May 3, 2017.