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Statement by Chip Davis, President and CEO, GPhA, Regarding the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee Hearing on Drug Costs

Contact: Steve Arnoff 202.249.7113 

WASHINGTON, DC (Dec. 2, 2015) — “Generic drug savings are widely recognized as a long term solution to rising health costs. Generic drugs saved $254 billion in 2014, according to the 2015 Generic Drug Savings in the U.S. report compiled by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics on behalf of the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA). The most effective way to keep costs low is to increase competition.

GPhA believes policymakers can help increase generic competition by implementing the following:

• In partnership with industry, encourage timely FDA review of the more than 3,800 generic drug applications that have been filed with the agency and await action.

• Increase generic utilization among the low-income Medicare population. (Estimated savings: $17.7 billion in savings over 10 years)

• Congress should pass the bipartisan FAST Generics Act to curb some brand drug company abuses of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) safety programs such as Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) used to keep generics off the market. (Estimated savings: $2.4 billion savings over 10 years)

• Work closely with industry and regulatory partners to ensure that the framework for biosimilars - safe and effective alternatives to costly brand biologic drugs - expands and expedites patient access. (Estimated savings range from $44 billion to $250 billion).

• Repeal Sec. 602 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. The Medicaid rebate increase for generic drugs in the budget deal is bad for Medicaid and its beneficiaries, bad for taxpayers, and it should be immediately repealed.

GPhA cautions policymakers against adopting measures to address outlier actions that create barriers to patients’ ability to access generic medicines. We welcome a constructive dialogue on actions to boost generic competition that would lower prescription drug costs and increase access for millions of people.”

About GPhA
GPhA represents the manufacturers and distributors of finished generic pharmaceuticals, manufacturers and distributors of bulk pharmaceutical chemicals, and suppliers of other goods and services to the generic industry. Generic pharmaceuticals fill 88 percent of the prescriptions dispensed in the U.S. but consume just 28 percent of the total drug spending. Additional information is available at gphaonline.org. Follow us on twitter: @gpha.