Walden: Energy and Commerce to Take Up Generic Drug Bill Next Week

The House Energy and Commerce Committee will take up legislation meant to promote generic drug development next week and lower drug costs, its chairman said Thursday, following through on one of President Donald Trump’s priorities.

Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) said the committee will consider the Lower Drug Costs Through Competition Act, a bill from Reps. Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.) and Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.). The measure would encourage the development of generic drugs in situations of a drug shortage or for drugs that lack competitors.

“President Trump made it clear in the White House meeting I attended with him and Vice President Pence: He wants competition that will bring lower drug prices and that is precisely what this measure will accomplish,” Walden said at an Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing, referring to a White House meeting with pharmaceutical executives.

The bill would help prevent situations where drugmakers can suddenly increase the cost of an existing drug that doesn’t have competitors, Walden said.

Trump, who said that drug companies are “getting away with murder,” also told pharmaceutical executives on Tuesday that he wanted to see FDA reforms that would speed up drug approval.