U.S. Senator Tina Smith Continues Fight to Lower Prescription Drug Prices By Backing Bipartisan Legislation to Bring Generics to Market

Senator Says Bipartisan Legislation Would Combat Brand-Name Pharmaceutical Companies
Unfairly Blocking Lower-Cost Generic Drugs 

WASHINGTON, D.C [02/06/2019]—This week, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) continued one of her top health care priorities—lowering the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs—by supporting bipartisan legislation led by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to stop brand-name pharmaceutical companies from blocking lower-cost generic drugs to market.

The Creating and Restoring Equal Access To Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act, which is also supported by Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), would deter pharmaceutical companies from blocking cheaper generic alternatives from entering the marketplace.

“The amount of money that Americans pay for medications is out of control. I know this because the topic of high prescription drug prices always comes up as I travel across Minnesota,” said Sen. Smith.“This is an opportunity for me and my colleagues to make it possible for people to get the life-saving medication they need at a lower cost. So let’s get this over the finish line for the families across the country who are struggling to pay for the vital medication they need to live full lives.”

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that the bill would result in a $3.9 billion net decrease in the federal deficit, with billions of dollars more going to consumers and private insurers.

The bill is supported by groups including AARP, American College of Physicians, FreedomWorks, Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs and many more. You can read coalition letter in support of the CREATES Act here and a list of supporters here.

In addition to Sen. Smith, the bill is supported by Sens. Leahy (D-Vt.), Grassley (R-Iowa), Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Lee (R-Utah), Feinstein (D-Calif.), Baldwin (D-Wis.), Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Booker (D-N.J.), Brown (D-Ohio), Collins (R-Maine), Cotton (R-Ark.), Cruz (R-Texas), Daines (R-Mont.), Durbin (D-Ill.), Ernst (R-Iowa), Fischer (R-Neb.), Hassan (D-N.H.), Kennedy (R-La.), King (I-Maine), Menendez (D-N.J.), Murkowski (R-Alaska), Paul (R-Ky.), Rounds (R-S.D.), Stabenow (D-Mich.), Tester (D-Mont.), Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Young (R-Ind.).

Representatives David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), and David McKinley (R-W.Va.) introduced the House version of the bill.

You can read an outline of the CREATES Act here, and text of legislation can be found here.