Ryan: 'Compromise' in the works for controversial drug pricing bill

Ryan: 'Compromise' in the works for controversial drug pricing bill
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Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPelosi: 'Thug' Putin not welcome in Congress Interior fast tracks study of drilling's Arctic impact: report Dems unveil slate of measures to ratchet up pressure on Russia MORE (R-Wis.) said Thursday that a compromise is being worked out on a controversial bill aimed at lowering drug prices, boosting hopes from supporters that the bill could move forward.

Ryan said the Energy and Commerce Committee and the Judiciary Committee are working out a compromise on the legislation, known as the Creates Act.

He did not get into details on what that would be, but some Republicans have previously objected to the bill on the grounds that it would invite frivolous lawsuits against drug companies. A compromise could seek to address that concern.

The bill has been stalled for months despite support from members of both parties, amid an intense lobbying campaign against it from drug companies.

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The measure seeks to crack down on delay tactics that drug companies use to slow the pace of cheaper generic drugs hitting the market.

Ryan’s remarks, made at a conference hosted by the law firm BakerHostetler, came in response to a question about President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff: Surveillance warrant docs show that Nunes memo 'misrepresented and distorted these applications' Chicago detention facility under investigation following allegations of abuse of migrant children Ex-Trump aide: Surveillance warrants are 'complete ignorance' and 'insanity' MORE’s drug pricing plan, unveiled last week.

While most of the actions Trump unveiled are administrative proposals that do not require Congress, Ryan said he wants Congress to have a role on the issue too. One area for action that he mentioned was the Creates Act.

“We're working between the Commerce Committee and the Judiciary Committee on a compromise on what we call Creates, which is getting the generics online faster after patents have expired, so I think there are things we can do in that area,” Ryan said.

Still, most observers are skeptical that Congress will take any major action on the controversial area of drug prices in an election year.

Backers had previously hoped to include the Creates Act in the government funding bill in March, but it was dropped amid debate and the lobbying push against it.

There is now not a clear legislative vehicle to carry the measure forward.

The Association for Accessible Medicines, which represents generic drug companies and is pushing to pass the bill, said it was “encouraged by Speaker Ryan’s statement today that the House is working to pass the CREATES Act.”