Coalition Letter: The Illinois Generic Drug Pricing Fairness Act (H.B. 4900)

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March 6, 2018

 

Speaker Michael J. Madigan

Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie

Minority Leader Jim Durkin

 

Dear Representative:

 

As state and national organizations representing a wide range of U.S. taxpayers and consumers, we write today in opposition to H.B. 4900, the Illinois Generic Drug Pricing Fairness Act, which seeks to impose pricing constraints on generic drug manufacturers. We oppose this legislation.

 

While working families, small businesses, seniors, and especially society’s most vulnerable patients are feeling the brunt of rising prescription drug costs, a “solution” that only targets generic pharmaceutical manufacturers jeopardizes the very industry that is a key to holding down drug prices. The Illinois General Assembly would be better served promoting policies that encourage drug competition, instead of protecting the high costs of originator brand drugs.

 

The statistics overwhelmingly support the role generic drugs play in controlling prescription drug costs. Today, generic drugs represent 89% of all prescriptions filled but are only 26% of overall drug cost. And while the price of brand-name drugs increases, market data show the price of generic drugs falls year after year. In fact, an Express Scripts Drug Trend Report notes that the price of generics has declined, on average, 70% since 2008. In total, generics saved Illinois – including patients and critical government programs – $9.6 billion dollars in 2016.

 

If H.B. 4900 takes effect, the threat of legal action from the Attorney General – using an arbitrary “unconscionable” price increase standard – will undoubtedly chill generic competition, limit consumer choice, and ultimately impede patient access to lower cost drugs. The only beneficiary of H.B. 4900 are the largest pharmaceutical companies whose profits will be protected from generics competition. Let the lower-priced generic manufacturers compete against larger brand name manufacturers. In sum, H.B. 4900 is anti-taxpayer, anti-patient, and anti-free market. We believe that it serves as a cautionary tale for other policymakers – at the federal and state level – about how NOT to pursue prescription drug cost reform. We believe this legislation will raise consumer prices, not lower them, by imposing anti-competitive regulations on lower-priced generic drugs.

 

Respectfully yours,

 

Steve Pociask

President

American Consumer Institute

 

Andrew F. Quinlan

President

Center for Freedom and Prosperity

 

Jonathan Bydlak

President

Coalition to Reduce Spending

 

Wayne T. Brough

Chief Economist, Vice President of Research

FreedomWorks

 

George Landrith

President

Frontiers of Freedom

 

Heather R. Higgins

President

Independent Women’s Voice

 

Andrew Langer

President

Institute for Liberty

 

Seton Motley

President

Less Government

 

Hector V. Barreto

Chairman

The Latino Coalition

 

Jim Martin

President

60 Plus

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