“Innovation and competition in the pharmaceutical market are key to lowering prescription drug costs. Anticompetitive tactics like product hopping are hurting American families, who are struggling to pay for expensive pharmaceuticals. The Affordable Prescriptions for Patients Through Promoting Competition Act of 2019 would disincentivize pharmaceutical companies from abusing our patent system in order to maintain control over the pharmaceutical market.”

WASHINGTON — Reps. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee; Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law; Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee; and David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law, today introduced the Affordable Prescriptions for Patients Through Promoting Competition Act of 2019 (H.R. 5133). The Affordable Prescriptions for Patients Through Promoting Competition Act of 2019 would help fight product hopping, which pharmaceutical companies use to unfairly control more of the pharmaceutical market. This legislation will help more generic options enter the market faster and decrease pharmaceutical costs for all Americans.

Product hopping is an anticompetitive practice in which a manufacturer unfairly encourages consumers to shift from one drug that is losing market exclusivity to another, similar drug that will have market exclusivity for a greater amount of time.

“Innovation and competition in the pharmaceutical market are key to lowering prescription drug costs. Anticompetitive tactics like product hopping are hurting American families, who are struggling to pay for expensive pharmaceuticals. The Affordable Prescriptions for Patients Through Promoting Competition Act of 2019 would disincentivize pharmaceutical companies from abusing our patent system in order to maintain control over the pharmaceutical market. I appreciate the efforts of Chairmen Nadler and Cicilline and Ranking Member Sensenbrenner on this bipartisan legislation. The Affordable Prescriptions for Patients Through Promoting Competition Act is an example of what our committee can achieve when we work together on a bipartisan basis,” said Collins.

This legislation cuts through the partisan divide and will lower prescription drug prices through competition and innovation in the pharmaceutical marketplace. By cracking down on bad actors who engage in anticompetitive tactics, such as product hopping, we can make generic and biosimilar drugs available sooner and provide much needed relief to the American people. I’m encouraged by this bipartisan effort and thank Chairmen Nadler and Cicilline and Ranking Member Collins for their cooperation on this effort,” said Sensenbrenner.

Pharmaceutical companies too often make frivolous changes to a drug in order to maintain their exclusive hold over the market for that prescription. This tactic delays generic options from becoming available to consumers and remaining accessible once they reach the market.

The Affordable Prescriptions for Patients Through Promoting Competition Act of 2019 would give the Federal Trade Commission the authority to prosecute pharmaceutical manufacturers that create non-substantive changes to prescriptions simply to extend their exclusive holds over parts of the pharmaceutical market.