Bipartisan senators push for action on drug-pricing measure

Bipartisan senators push for action on drug-pricing measure
© Thinkstock

A bipartisan pair of senators is pushing for passage of a measure aimed at fighting high drug prices, which is opposed by the pharmaceutical industry.

Sens. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleySenate GOP poised to break record on Trump's court picks This week: GOP mulls vote on ‘abolish ICE’ legislation Kavanaugh paper chase heats up MORE (R-Iowa) and Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) wrote an op-ed in Stat on Friday pushing for passage of their bill, known as the Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act. Backers are pushing for the bill to be included in a government funding bill next week, but the bill has faced resistance, particularly from drug companies.

It is aimed at increasing the availability of cheaper generic drugs by cracking down on delay tactics used by pharmaceutical firms.

“There is no question that pharmaceutical companies should be compensated for their important work developing lifesaving treatments,” Grassley and Leahy write. “But they should not be allowed to use predatory practices to cling to their patents and delay the development of generics at the expense of their customers.”

“Congress has a straightforward and fully bipartisan chance to actually do something to wind down the upward spiral of drug prices,” the senators add. “Enough talk. It’s time for real action.”

The bill is one of the few possibilities for congressional action on drug prices this year, an area where figures in both parties, including President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want to use 'adversary' to describe Russia Comey urges Americans to vote for Democrats in midterms Roby wins Alabama GOP runoff, overcoming blowback from Trump criticism MORE, have called for action.

Opponents, though, warn that it would lead to frivolous litigation against branded drug companies, something supporters deny.

Backers point to the politically diverse array of cosponsors, including Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzO'Rourke calls for Trump's impeachment over Putin summit Wisconsin GOP Senate candidate rips his own parents for donations to Dems The Memo: Trump leaves chaos in his wake in UK MORE (R-Texas), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeWisconsin GOP Senate candidate rips his own parents for donations to Dems GOP moderates hint at smooth confirmation ahead for Kavanaugh GOP senators introduce resolution endorsing ICE MORE (R-Utah), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharSenate Dems protest vote on controversial court pick Hillicon Valley: Trump tries to quell Russia furor | Sparks fly at hearing on social media | First House Republican backs net neutrality bill | Meet the DNC's cyber guru | Sinclair defiant after merger setback Booker seizes on Kavanaugh confirmation fight MORE (D-Minn.) and Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump, Putin meet under cloud of Mueller’s Russia indictments Dems launch pressure campaign over migrant families California Dems endorse progressive challenger over Feinstein MORE (D-Calif.).