Bustos Helps Pass Legislation to Rein in Prescription Drug Pricing

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL) helped pass two pieces of legislation aimed at combatting the rising costs of prescription drugs. Congresswoman Bustos supported the passage of the Orange Book Transparency Act of 2019 and the Purple Book Continuity Act of 2019. Both of these bills are designed to increase transparency and competition to drive down the outrageous prices the American people are forced to pay for necessary medication.

“All too often, big pharmaceutical companies make billions in profits while hardworking families struggle to pay for their medication,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “It’s long overdue that costs are brought under control – commonsense proposals like today’s should be a no-brainer. While this is just a first step, I’m proud to support both pieces of legislation that came before the House today to bring down the cost of prescription drugs and provide families with relief. I hope Leader McConnell will take them up without delay.”

BACKGROUND

Last Congress, Congresswoman Bustos served as a Co-Chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee where she helped craft House Democrats’ For the People agenda focused on lowering the costs of health care and prescription drugs, rebuilding our country’s infrastructure and cleaning up corruption in Washington. Now, Congresswoman Bustos and House Democrats are tackling these issues by advancing today’s legislation. Congresswoman Bustos has also helped pass the For the People Act to strengthen ethics laws and make it easier to vote, and testified in front of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to lay out her priorities as House Democrats work to advance a major infrastructure package.

H.R. 1503, Orange Book Transparency Act of 2019

  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for publishing the Orange Book, which is a list of all brand-name and generic drug products currently marketed. In the Orange Book, brand name drug manufacturers are required to list patent information related to their approved drugs. As a result, generic manufacturers often rely upon the information listed here when making decisions related to development. However, generic manufacturers note that this list is typically out-of-date or inaccurate – leading to difficulties in the decision making process. This legislation takes steps to ensure that the Orange Book is updated accurately in a timely manner to help generic manufacturers compete and make development decisions.

H.R. 1520, Purple Book Continuity Act of 2019

  • The Purple Book is similar to the Orange Book but instead contains information related to biologics and biosimilars. Biosimilar manufacturers use the Purple Book to determine when patents or exclusivities of an approved biologic expire, but are also confronted with challenges when searching for accurate information to help them make development decisions. This legislation would require the FDA to publish the Purple Book in a searchable, electronic format on FDA’s website to be updated every 30 days in order to provide accurate and up-to-date information.

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