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GPhA Calls Senate HELP Committee Action Disappointing for Countless Patients
Date:7/13/2009

ARLINGTON, Va., July 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA) released the following statement today from GPhA President and CEO Kathleen Jaeger on the Senate HELP Committee's vote on biogenerics legislation.

"While we are extremely disappointed that the Committee action could result in patients having little or no access to affordable biogenerics, we will continue to fight in the House to ensure that a true balance is achieved between innovation and competition. It is surprising that in the wake of the recent Federal Trade Commission report explicitly stating that 12 years of exclusivity would discourage innovation, the HELP Committee voted in favor of profits over patients. This unprecedented action strikes a huge blow to consumers at a time when many Americans are struggling to pay for the medicines they need.

"With generics saving the health care system $734 billion in the last decade, the House must now act to ensure that additional savings can be achieved by rejecting unnecessary and excessive years of market exclusivity for biopharmaceuticals. Over the last two years, we have dispelled the myths on the safety and efficacy of biogenerics that brand PhRMA and BIO tried to make to keep biogenerics from getting to consumers. It is now time to dispel the myth that double-digit years of exclusivity are needed to spark innovation. The White House already has the FDA working on creating a pathway and it has firmly stated that seven years of exclusivity is a good compromise. We must follow the course of the White House and Chairman Waxman and ensure that patients can truly access lifesaving biogeneric medicines in a timely manner.

"We hope that when the House Energy and Commerce Committee acts it follows the lead of its Chairman in approving a market exclusivity period that puts patients first. History has shown that a balance between innovation and competition can be achieved that benefits consumers and industry alike. Chairman Waxman knows this and we encourage him to continue to make patients the priority."

GPhA represents the manufacturers and distributors of finished generic pharmaceuticals, manufacturers and distributors of bulk active pharmaceutical chemicals, and suppliers of other goods and services to the generic drug industry. Generics represent 69% of the total prescriptions dispensed in the United States, but only 16% of all dollars spent on prescription drugs. For more information about the industry, visit www.gphaonline.org.


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SOURCE Generic Pharmaceutical Association
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