Rush Introduces Generic Drug Bill to Protect Consumers

Feb 9, 2012
Press Release

CONTACT: Renee Ferguson
(773) 224-6500 ofc.; (202) 674-0891 mobile

WASHINGTON – Congressman Bobby L. Rush (D-IL) introduced a bill today that would help consumers save money by enabling generic drug companies to get their products to market more quickly.  H.R. 3995 would empower the Federal Trade Commission to enforce regulations that crack down on the holders of pharmaceutical patents that sue a generic drug manufacturer and then settle the lawsuit by paying the generic company to keep its product off the market.

“Currently,” Rush explained, “these arrangements have generally been held to be legal but they hurt consumers and increase the cost that taxpayers pay to fund Medicare and Medicaid.”  Rush went on to say that the drug companies’ actions “are costing consumers billions of dollars and those actions must not be allowed to continue.”  The Congressional Budget Office says these so called “pay for delay” deals could cost taxpayers roughly 3 billion dollars over ten years.

Rush added, “We should be concerned about what patients and the federal government are not getting out of these anticompetitive arrangements.  Consumers and patients, a good many of whom are elderly and on fixed incomes are not getting access to more affordable generic drugs to help treat their conditions.  And, the government is not getting the benefit of lower drug prices and related cost savings for Medicare and Medicaid that would help significantly in reducing our federal deficit.”

“My bill would outlaw these settlement abuses and work to reverse the heavy tolls that they take on consumers’ wallets and the Federal treasury from having to pay more money over a longer period of time for brand name drugs and authorized generics.”

Rush was joined by Representatives Henry A. Waxman (D-CA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) who have cosponsored this bill.