Kuster Raises Concern about Practices of Pharmaceutical Companies to Suppress Generic Drugs, Increase Prescription Drug Prices
Washington, DC, March 13, 2019
**Kuster’s Q&A can be watched HERE**
Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), a member of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, expressed her concern about the practice of some pharmaceutical companies inhibiting the rollout of generic versions of prescription drugs. Some pharmaceutical companies use U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) safety rules as a tool to illegitimately slow the approval or development of generic prescription drugs. This practice can keep drug prices higher for consumers and prevents completely safe and equivalent generics from coming to market.
“I’ve heard from many Granite Staters that the prices they are paying for prescription drugs are simply too high,” said Kuster. “It is outrageous that some pharmaceutical companies are taking advantage of rules that are meant to keep Americans safe to protect their own profits. We should be doing everything we can to lower costs for people in New Hampshire and across the country and that means getting safe and effective generics to market. I will work with my colleagues to advance legislation that will put patients and individuals first.”
The safety measures are known as REMS, or Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies, which are plans the FDA requires pharmaceutical companies and competing generic drug manufacturers to develop in response to serious drug safety risks. Some pharmaceutical companies are using REMS requirements as an excuse to not provide product samples to generic drug developers for testing that supports their drug applications, preventing competition from those developers.
Kuster has been vocal about the need to reduce the costs of prescription drugs and has called for the direct negotiation of Medicare Part D with pharmaceutical companies to reduce prices.