Published Online: Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Chain drug industry officials have called on Congress to help ease the rising health care cost burden on patients by enacting legislation to promote wider use of lower-priced generic pharmaceuticals. In a letter to the chairman and ranking member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) urged lawmakers to close loopholes that delay generic competition, "including those relating to reforming marketing exclusivity for pediatric research." NACDS also asked the panel to move forward on legislation to "provide a pathway for generic biopharmaceuticals by giving the FDA clear authority to use its scientific expertise to review and, where appropriate, approve both comparable and interchangeable biogenerics."

The chain association's recommendations for generic legislation were part of a broader package of legislative reforms advocated by NACDS, as Congress began consideration of legislation reauthorizing the Prescription Drug User Fee Act and components of a broad FDA package. Along with other reforms, NACDS said that legislation to increase access to generic drugs would "provide health care cost savings, expand access to medications, facilitate effective communications with consumers, and foster operational efficiency for community pharmacy."

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