Rick Scott Backs Bipartisan Push to Rein in Prescription Drug Prices

On Monday, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., announced he was backing a bipartisan proposal to control the price of prescription drugs.

Last month, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., brought out the “Affordable Prescriptions for Patients Act” which, the Texas Republican’s office insisted, “would curb major drug companies’ anti-competitive use of patents to protect their prescription drugs and prevent generic and biosimilar competition from coming to market” and would “encourage competition and give patients greater access to prescription drugs at a cheaper cost without stifling innovation or infringing on patent rights.”

“Drug companies have taken advantage of the patent system to maintain their monopoly on certain drugs and prevent generics from coming to market,” Cornyn said when he introduced the bill. “These tactics mean Americans are forced to pay more for the life-saving medications they need. This bill puts patients first and reforms the system to encourage the availability of cheaper generics.”

“Using practices that would make the robber barons of the gilded age blush, Big Pharma has crushed competition and stifled access to cheaper generic drugs to squeeze billions out of families, businesses, and the government,” Blumenthal said. “Through common-sense reforms, this bipartisan bill will empower the FTC to fight back against drug companies’ most egregious and monopolistic practices. It represents an important step in reining in Big Pharma’s greed and puts the industry on notice—enough is enough.”

The bill would try to crack down on drug companies product hopping and patent thicketing under the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Act. Cornyn’s office insisted the bill would “empower the FTC to challenge them as anti-competitive and enable the FTC to bring antitrust suits against companies who attempt to capitalize on their abuse of the system.”

A host of groups, including Patients for Affordable Drugs, Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs, Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing, Vizient, Prime Therapeutics and Mylan, are backing the proposal.

Scott threw his support behind the bill on Monday.

“For years, pharmaceutical companies have been abusing the patent system to prevent competition and force American consumers to pay more for life-saving medicine,” Scott said. “That’s wrong. I’m proud to sponsor the Affordable Prescriptions for Patients Act to force pharmaceutical companies to play fair in a free and competitive market. Washington should have addressed the soaring costs of prescription drugs a long time ago, and I’m fighting every day to make sure we do.”

During his first five months in the Senate, Scott has often focused on prescriptions and health care, including introducing the “Transparent Drug Pricing Act” which, he claimed, “promotes transparency in drug pricing and reduces the cost of prescription drugs for American consumers.”

 

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com 

1 COMMENT

  1. Talking about lowering the prices of life saving drugs does NOTHING. You must step up to the plate and stop the price gouging that is happening. The AFFORDABLE PRESCRIPTION ACT FOR PATIENTS ACT seems to be doing NOTHING when a “script” for my Eliquis will cost me $233.02, and a “script” for Entresto will cost me $282.15 with my supplemental insurance. FUNDS that I DO NOT have. I am a senior citizen living on limited funds every month and am unable to afford the $515.17 monthly cost. Thereby putting my life in danger. For four years, I was able to get both drugs as samples from both my primary and cardiologist doctors. Thereby saving me the over inflated prices. BUT, the drug reps are no longer leaving the samples with the doctors. How sad that a hard working citizen is threatened with STROKE, and possibly DEATH because these drug companies want to line their pockets. I wrote to you back on May 30, 2019 and have heard nothing from you ‘Rick Scott.’ Making me wonder if YOU are really concerned. I HOPE SO. Someone has got to help me out, I have exhausted all avenues of trying to get help. Please help me Senator. 386-467-9919

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