Tester Pushes for Increased Competition and Lower Drug Costs

Tester Cosponsors Legislation to Require Quicker Action on Generic Drug Applications

(U.S. Senate) -Senator Jon Tester is cosponsoring the Increasing Competition in Pharmaceuticals Act, which will require the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to act more quickly on applications for high-need generic drugs.

This bipartisan legislation would direct the FDA to prioritize the review of generic drugs that have a shortage or only one manufacturer and allow for new and innovative policies that incentivize companies to participate in the generic market.

“The price gouging we are seeing across the country is unacceptable,” Tester said. “This bill will help the FDA cut through red tape and approve more generic drugs faster to increase competition in the marketplace.”

The FDA currently has a backlog of 4,036 generic drug applications awaiting approval. As it stands, the average time it takes the FDA to approve a generic drug is 47 months.

As part of his continued efforts to reduce the cost of prescription drugs for Montana consumers, Tester grilled FDA officials about their process for generic approval in a hearing last week. Earlier this month, he introduced legislation holding pharmaceutical middlemen accountable and sent a letter chastising the company responsible for EpiPen price hikes.