WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today announced her support for a bipartisan bill that would make it easier for Central Virginians to access lower-cost generic prescription drugs.
Spanberger is now a cosponsor of the Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act of 2019, which would prohibit pharmaceutical companies from participating in certain anti-competitive practices that block cheaper generic drugs from entering that market. The bipartisan bill would increase competitive options for prescription drugs by cracking down on pharmaceutical companies’ ability to delay access to generic versions of expensive brand-name drugs.
Earlier this month, Spanberger introduced and led a bipartisan bill to hold third-party intermediaries accountable and help address the root causes of the prescription drug affordability crisis. Her legislation passed unanimously out of the House Ways and Means Committee.
“Skyrocketing prescription drug prices force far too many Central Virginians to make difficult financial decisions as they look to live a healthy life. To help provide relief, we need to do more to foster healthy competition—and we must address the predatory practices of certain companies that knowingly block access to cheaper medication for senior citizens, working families, and children,” said Spanberger. “Our bipartisan bill would create more competition, lower drug costs, and provide a significant savings to taxpayers and insurers. I’m proud to support this legislation—and as we continue to find new ways to address this crisis, I’ll continue fighting to address the prescription drug crisis as a moral issue, not a partisan game.”
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the CREATES Act would result in a $3.9 billion net decrease in the federal deficit.
Specifically, the CREATES Act would allow generic manufacturers facing delay tactics to bring action in federal court to obtain the samples they need—and courts would be authorized to award monetary damages sufficient to deter future gaming of the healthcare system. Additionally, the bill addresses another anti-competitive practice in which brand-name drug companies may prevent generics and biosimilars from participating in the process to develop a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved shared safety protocol. The CREATES Act would allow the FDA to approve alternative safety protocols that meet the same rigorous standards.
The CREATES Act is endorsed by the Association for Accessible Medicines, the American College of Physicians, the American Hospital Association, the Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing, and America’s Health Insurance Plans. The legislation is also supported by consumer groups including AARP, the Consumers Union, and Public Citizen.
The CREATES Act is led by U.S. Representatives David Cicilline (D-RI), Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Doug Collins (R-GA), Peter Welch (D-VT), and David McKinley (R-WV).
Since arriving in the U.S. House, Spanberger has been fighting to address the prescription drug affordability crisis in Central Virginia. In January, she helped introduce the Medicare Negotiation and Competitive Licensing Act, which would authorize the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical providers within Medicare Part D to help lower costs.
Last month, Spanberger helped introduce and pass landmark campaign finance and ethics reform legislation that would strengthen transparency in the U.S. political system and limit the influence of special interests—including pharmaceutical companies. During a press conference prior to the passage of the legislation, she shared the story of Central Virginians concerned about rising prescription drug prices—and she stressed why increased transparency would restore faith in the democratic process and the ability of Members of Congress to affect change on these issues. Click here to watch the full press conference.