Statement on CREATES Act Passing Senate Judiciary Committee

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Patients For Affordable Drugs NOW applauded and thanked the Senate Judiciary Committee for passing the bipartisan CREATES Act — a bill that aims to lower drug prices by speeding generics to market. In response to the committee voting 16 to 5 to move the bill for consideration by the full Senate, Executive Director Ben Wakana issued the following statement:

“Months of intense opposition from Big Pharma could not kill this bill, and nothing will stop patients from demanding solutions like the CREATES Act to lower drug prices. Chairman Grassley, Senator Leahy, and all committee members voting yes deserve credit for fighting for patients today. Drug corporations should stop safeguarding bad actors and instead focus on getting affordable medicine to Americans who need it.”

BACKGROUND

  • The CREATES Act (S. 974 and H.R. 2212) would stop big drug companies from blocking competition by refusing to allow their brand name drugs to be used in testing needed to get approval for generic competitors. If passed, patients would get access to lower-priced generic drugs faster.
     
  • Eighty six organizations representing patients, doctors, the research and development community, and large employers sent letters urging Congress to pass the CREATES Act.
     
  • The Congressional Budget Office estimated the CREATES Act would save taxpayers $3.8 billion over ten years.
     
  • In May, the FDA released a list of more than 50 drug makers accused by generic drug corporations of stalling providing samples that would increase competition and lower prices. According to Kaiser Health News, the drug makers on the FDA’s list are also responsible for double-digit percentage price hikes since 2012, which cost Medicare and Medicaid nearly $12 billion in 2016.
     
  • The pharmaceutical lobby amped up lobbying to $25 million last year and continues to oppose the CREATES Act despite calls from Scott Gottlieb, conservative groups like FreedomWorks, and Harvard academics to end REMS abuses.