WASHINGTON DC (June 26, 2018) – Secretary Azar’s testimony today highlighted two very important issues when it comes to reducing prescription drug prices in the United States.
First, Secretary Azar noted that anticompetitive tactics used by brand-name manufacturers distort the market and keep prices artificially high. Notably, Secretary Azar endorsed the aims of the bipartisan CREATES Act, which would put an end to what Secretary Azar has called “one of the most notorious examples” of “gaming” by brand-name manufacturers, saying: ‘obviously what’s in the CREATES Act resonates completely with what we have been saying and what FDA has been doing to prevent the very abuses that you’ve correctly laid out there.’
Second, he highlighted a lesser-known phenomenon in which the price of certain generic drugs have fallen so low that unintended consequences like sole-source drugs are the result. As Secretary Azar said, we need to examine whether we are “underpaying for and under-reimbursing for generics. We need a strong, robust generic market. We may be driving those prices so low that we’re creating manufacturing anomalies that lead to sole-source products with others exiting. We need to look at that and be open minded about whether we’ve actually made it too low.”
The core of Secretary Azar’s message is that “competition works,” and we could not agree more. Increasing competition, whether that means putting an end to anticompetitive practices used by some brand-name manufacturers to thwart competition from generics and biosimilars, or taking steps to remedy market distortions due to under-reimbursement among competing generic drugs, will result in lower prices for all Americans. We applaud the Administration’s focus on these important issues and Secretary Azar’s comments today, and we look forward to working with the Administration and Congress to achieve our shared goal of more affordable prescription drugs for all Americans.
ATTRIBUTE TO: Allen Goldberg, AAM Vice President, Communications
AAM is driven by the belief that access to safe, quality, effective medicine has a tremendous impact on a person’s life and the world around them. Generic and biosimilar medicines improve people’s lives, improving society and the economy in turn. AAM represents the manufacturers and distributors of finished generic pharmaceuticals and biosimilars, manufacturers and distributors of bulk pharmaceutical chemicals, and suppliers of other goods and services to the generic industry. Generic pharmaceuticals are 90 percent of prescriptions dispensed in the U.S. but only 23 percent of total drug spending.
About the Biosimilars Council
The Biosimilars Council, a division of the Association for Accessible Medicines (AAM), works to ensure a positive environment for patient access to biosimilar medicines. The Biosimilars Council is a leading source for information about the safety and efficacy of more affordable alternatives to costly brand biologic medicines. Areas of focus include public and health expert education, strategic partnerships, government affairs, legal affairs and regulatory policy. More information is available at www.biosimilarscouncil.org.