Kuster Bill To Lower Prescription Drug Costs Clears Key Committee
Washington, May 18, 2022
**The Energy and Commerce Committee also advanced legislation included in the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force’s 2021 Legislative Agenda**
Washington, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) advanced her legislation, the Increasing Transparency In Generic Drug Applications Act of 2022, through the Energy and Commerce Committee. The Committee passed a slate of bills to ensure that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the resources to ensure the safety and efficacy of drugs and medical devices that Americans depend on. Rep. Kuster’s bill would allow lower-cost drugs to come to market faster by removing barriers to generic drug approvals.
Kuster also helped advance legislation targeting the addiction and mental health epidemic. The Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act would reauthorize key mental health programs, increase access to substance use disorder treatment, and expand virtual peer support. Rep. Kuster’s KIDS CARES Act was also passed by the Committee. This bipartisan legislation will help ensure kids in the criminal justice system have the mental health support they need and will require state Medicaid programs to conduct medical and behavioral health screenings for juveniles upon their release from incarceration. KIDS CARES also directs the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to update its school-based health services claims guide, including best practices. This will decrease the administrative burden on schools and increase the availability of health care services.
“Granite Staters are paying too much for prescription drugs. I’m pleased that today the Energy and Commerce Committee advanced my legislation to get cheaper medications to folks in New Hampshire,” said Rep. Kuster, founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force. “We need to make serious improvements to our nation’s health care systems — and today, we advanced several pieces of legislation to do just that. These bills will put into law commonsense solutions for the benefit of our country, our mental health system, and our economy. Whether it be by improving the process through which lower-cost generic drugs come to market or expanding access to mental health services for adolescents, I will continue working to get this important legislation over the finish line.”
Many generic drugs cannot be approved by the FDA unless they contain the same inactive ingredients in the same amounts as the reference listed drug. But, if the FDA identifies a deficiency regarding a proposed generic drug’s sameness, it cannot disclose any details about the deficiency, prohibiting lower-cost generic drugs from coming to market. Kuster’s bill, the Increasing Transparency In Generic Drug Applications Act of 2022, addresses this issue by requiring the FDA to inform generic drug applicants how the proposed drug differs from the listed drug.