The AHA expressed support for a number of bills being considered today by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce that would lower prescription drug costs and strengthen the Affordable Care Act marketplaces to improve access and lower the cost of coverage for consumers.
“Ensuring patient access to comprehensive, affordable coverage and achieving fair and sustainable drug pricing are two of the AHA’s top priorities,” the AHA said in a letter today to committee leaders. “We are encouraged by a number of the proposed pieces of legislation, many of which could help advance these shared objectives.”
Among the prescription drug bills being considered today is the AHA-supported H.R. 965, the Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act, a bill for which the AHA has long advocated. For far too long, certain brand name drug manufacturers have wrongly utilized sample-sharing and safety protocol tools in order to hold off competition, and the CREATES Act seeks to restore Congressional intent and level the playing field by allowing generic drug manufacturers facing these anticompetitive delay tactics to bring an action in federal court for injunctive relief, AHA said. If enacted, the bill would lower federal spending on prescription drugs by nearly $4 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
In its letter, AHA also expressed appreciation for the committee considering a number bills that would reinstate critical consumer protections and strengthen the health insurance marketplaces. Among other things, the bills would roll back the administration’s rule expanding short-term, limited-duration insurance plans and provide federal funding for enrollment efforts and for states to establish reinsurance programs or help reduce consumer out-of-pocket costs.
The bills were still being marked up at the time of AHA Today’s deadline.  

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