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Striking the Balance

Weekly Column

Especially for those Americans who rely on regular prescriptions, the high cost of purchasing their vital medicine is an all too familiar burden. Certainly, if something can be done to bring cost down, something should be done. Unfortunately, while bipartisan agreement already exists on policies to do so, House Democratic leadership has thwarted the actual delivery of relief to the American people.

In March of this year, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce unanimously passed a package of bipartisan bills that would ease the burden of medicine costs. Fostering competition in the industry, the legislation would close loopholes that prevent the entry of generic drugs into the market. It would also ensure that the Food and Drug Administration maintains an updated database with lists of expiring patents so that generic drug manufacturers can develop competitive drugs as soon as possible. However, rather than advancing the bipartisan work of the committee and bringing the bills as reported to the House floor, Speaker Nancy Pelosi chose to add poison pill policy riders pertaining to Obamacare that didn’t stand a chance of getting support in the Republican-controlled Senate.


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