Bipartisan senators push for action on drug-pricing measure

Bipartisan senators push for action on drug-pricing measure
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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 GrassleyGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Feinstein calls for hold on Kavanaugh consideration Grassley releases letter detailing Kavanaugh sexual assault allegation 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.

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“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 TrumpGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Health advocates decry funding transfer over migrant children Groups plan mass walkout in support of Kavanaugh accuser 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 CruzViral video shows O’Rourke air-drumming to the Who’s ‘Baba O’Riley’ after Cruz debate Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate NY Times, McCabe give Trump perfect cover to fire Rosenstein, Sessions MORE (R-Texas), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeEx-college classmate accuses Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct Kavanaugh accuser agrees to testify next week Reexamining presidential power over national monuments MORE (R-Utah), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharSenate Democrats increase pressure for FBI investigation of Kavanaugh Election Countdown: Trump confident about midterms in Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh controversy tests candidates | Sanders, Warren ponder if both can run | Super PACs spending big | Two states open general election voting Friday | Latest Senate polls GOP in striking distance to retake Franken seat MORE (D-Minn.) and Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinGillibrand calls for Kavanaugh nomination to be withdrawn Feinstein calls for hold on Kavanaugh consideration Grassley releases letter detailing Kavanaugh sexual assault allegation MORE (D-Calif.).