US representative pushes legislation to curb drug prices: 5 things to know

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) vows to advocate for legislation aiming to curb drug prices through the development of more generic drugs, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Here are five things to know.

1. Rep. Walden, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said he would push for the drug pricing legislation after attending a meeting Tuesday with several pharmaceutical executives.

2. Commenting on the bill during a hearing Thursday, Rep. Walden said, "President [Donald] Trump made it clear in the White House meeting I attended with him and Vice President [Mike] Pence that he wants competition to bring lower drug prices, and that is precisely what this measure will help accomplish. Patients are tired of waiting for relief, we're going to move forward in a bipartisan way to give them help. It's an important first step, it needs to happen now."

3. If the bill passes, the Food and Drug Administration would be required to prioritize and expedite the review of generic applications for drug products that are currently in shortage or in instances where there are too few manufacturers on the market, according to Rep. Walden. "We all remember recent situations where bad actors jacked up the prices of older drugs because there was no competition. We want to make sure that does not happen again," he said during Thursday's hearing.

4. Additionally, according to Rep. Walden, the bill would increase transparency around the current generic drug backlog at the FDA. "While progress has been made, there are still an unacceptably high number of generic drug applications sitting at the Food and Drug Administration that, if and when approved, could bring additional lower cost alternatives to patients," he said.

5. Rep. Walden said lawmakers will begin taking up the legislation starting next week.


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