Statement by Chip Davis, President and CEO, GPhA, Regarding Today's Budget Deal

"Today's House proposal seeks in part to balance the budget on the backs of America's vulnerable Medicaid population, and will reduce patient access to affordable generic medicines."

PRESS RELEASE

Washington, DC - “Today’s House proposal seeks in part to balance the budget on the backs of America’s vulnerable Medicaid population, and will reduce patient access to affordable generic medicines. This is especially disappointing when there exists an alternative bipartisan solution that would provide billions in savings to the healthcare system, and that would not compromise patients’ access to the medicines they need.

Policymakers who are serious about keeping prescription drugs affordable for Americans should reject the provisions in today’s budget proposal dealing with Medicaid rebates that could eviscerate already strained state budgets and limit patient access to lower-cost generics.

The best way to maximize drug cost savings is by increasing access to and utilization of affordable medicines, not by increasing rebates. Congress should pass the Fair Access to Safe and Timely (FAST) Generics Act, introduced by Reps. Steve Stivers (R-OH) and Peter Welch (D-VT). This bill strengthens REMS for patients by closing regulatory loopholes used by some brand drug manufacturers to block generic competition without lowering safety standards.

This legislation, which enjoys bipartisan support prevents REMS misuse that costs the U.S. healthcare system $5.4 billion annually and the government $2.35 billion which is more than the level of savings anticipated by the rebate proposal in the budget deal.

Generic medicines saved the United States healthcare system nearly $1.5 trillion over the past 10 years, including $239 billion in savings in 2013 alone, but this budget deal will make it harder for generics to get to the market, meaning that for some patients the only option that will remain are high cost branded products.

The Generic Pharmaceutical Association welcomes an opportunity to work with Congress to identify more effective ways to pay for this budget deal and maximize drug cost savings for public programs and the millions of people who participate in them.”