U.S. House panel approves three bills aimed at tackling high drug prices

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WASHINGTON, Sep 29 (Businesshala) – The US House Judiciary Committee voted on Wednesday to approve three bills that seek to curtail practices used by drugmakers to raise prices and stifle competition. Also included is to ban the strategy of paying generic companies to delay the release of the version. their medicines in the market

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While the votes were not unanimous, they passed the committee by a large margin. The fourth measure is to be considered on Thursday.

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Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler said the Congressional Budget Office estimated that general competition from banning patent deals for so-called delayed payments – the subject of one of the bills – would cost Americans more than half a billion dollars over 10 years. will save.

The measures were introduced in a rare hearing involving mixed members of the House and Senate, during which lawmakers from both sides and both houses said they had eventually introduced bills aimed at reducing the cost of prescription drugs for Americans. . Four similar bills were introduced in the House and Senate.

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The House Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday to enable the Federal Trade Commission to ban counterfeit citizen petitions, in which drug companies petition the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about a generic company delaying market entry. seeks approval for a rival drug with the goal of

Brand-name drugs can lose more than 80% of their sales revenue once multiple generic versions reach the market.

They also approved a measure to prevent product-hopping, the practice of making minor changes to a drug’s formula to win a new patent and therefore longer periods of exclusivity, and would also prevent pay-for-delay patent deals.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved all measures by voice vote in July.

The House Judiciary Committee is set to vote Thursday on a last resort that would make it easier to market biosimilars, cheaper versions of expensive biotech drugs that, unlike pills, can’t be duplicated exactly.

Subsequent measures must be taken by the full House and Senate.

Reporting by Diane Bartz Editing by Bill Burcrot

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