New bill aims to boost opportunities for low-cost generic drugs - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

New bill aims to boost opportunities for low-cost generic drugs

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -

New legislation from a Minnesota lawmaker would take on Big Pharma in an effort to lower the cost of prescription medication.

It's called the "Expanding Access to Low Cost Generic Drugs Act," introduced by Democratic U.S. Senator Tina Smith.

According to Smith, big pharmaceutical companies often pay makers of generic versions of their drugs to not sell their version. 

It's called a "Pay-For-Delay" settlement, which often keeps lower-cost generic drugs from hitting the shelves.

Smith says her legislation would allow the FDA to take away special rights for the generic companies if they agree to a "Pay for Delay" deal. 

"If your only option is a brand name drug, you're likely going to be paying about 80 percent more than you would be if you could buy a generic drug," says Smith (D) MN.

Nearly 25 percent of Americans who currently take prescription drugs have trouble affording them. 

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