While in Washington D.C. for the annual SGIM meeting, GIM Fellow, Dr. Caroline Sloan, along with GIM faculty Drs. Danilla Zipkin, Patrick Hemming and Joel Boggan met with the health policy staffers of Senator Burr, Senator Tillis, and Representative Price on May 6. They discussed high drug prices and the effects that expense has on patients, especially our patients at the Duke Outpatient Clinic. In particular, over the last few decades, some major pharmaceutical companies have worked to prevent generic drug manufacturers from developing drugs that are equivalent in efficacy but cost less. The companies may choose to pay generic drug companies to delay their drug development (“pay for delay”), or they may refuse to provide generic drug companies with the data needed to develop generic drugs. Drs. Sloan, Zipkin, Hemming and Boggan endorsed two bills that address these problems:
- The CREATES Act of 2019 (HR 965, S 340) penalizes brand-name drug manufacturers who withhold sample products from generic makers. Penalties are limited to a maximum equal to the revenue the drug maker earned on the specific product during that period.
- The Protecting Consumer Access to Generic Drugs Act of 2019 (HR 1499, S 64) bans brand manufacturers from striking deals with generic rivals to keep their products off the market. The Federal Trade Commission can exempt deals from penalties if they improve market competition.
The group received positive feedback from our legislators’ staffers. We look forward to seeing how both bills proceed through Congress in the coming months!