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senate Bill S. 771

Improving Access To Affordable Prescription Drugs Act

Bill Details

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Improving Access To Affordable Prescription Drugs Act

Official Title

A bill to improve access to affordable prescription drugs.


This bill amends provisions of various laws relating to prescription-drug pricing and affordability. Specifically, the bill: expands reporting requirements for drug manufacturers and establishes corresponding civil penalties for noncompliance; adds reporting requirements for certain nonprofit patient-assistance programs; requires the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to report to Congress on the impact of patient-assistance programs on prescription-drug pricing and expenditures; requires the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to negotiate prices for certain prescription drugs under the Medicare program; requires the GAO to report to Congress on such negotiations conducted by the CMS; requires the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation within the CMS to test specified models for negotiating drug prices; establishes reporting requirements, and corresponding civil penalties for noncompliance, for pharmaceutical companies with respect to spikes in prescription-drug prices; establishes an excise tax on prescription drugs subject to price spikes; lessens prescription-drug cost-sharing requirements under qualified health plans, group health plans, and the Medicare program; modifies provisions related to the importation of prescription drugs; requires drug manufacturers to provide drug rebates for drugs dispensed to certain low-income individuals under the Medicare program; establishes a prize fund for new and more effective treatments of bacterial infections; establishes a Center for Clinical Research within the National Institutes of Health; modifies provisions related to drug exclusivity; allows the Federal Trade Commission to initiate enforcement proceedings against parties to an agreement resolving or settling a patent-infringement claim in connection with the sale of a drug product; requires the Food and Drug Administration to establish a database of generic drugs; and modifies other provisions related to generic drugs, prescription-drug advertising, and product hopping.

bill Progress

  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Finance
    IntroducedMarch 29th, 2017
    Despite the terrific source of campaign donations that drug companies are, because their products are often life-saving there should be a humanitarian component to corporate decisionmaking about pricing. These companies do not, as they claim, funnel the majority of their profits into developing new, lifesaving drugs. Instead, they spend a huge amount on marketing. Don't believe me? Do some research. It's easy enough online. It's shameful that so many are reduced to taking non-theraputic doses of or giving up their needed medications because of cost. It's also ridiculous that we pay among the highest prices in the world for medication when other countries have capped what drug companies can charge. Yeah, I know, a free market should create competition that drives cost down. How does that happen when only a handful of campanies that own exclusive patents are the sole source? How's the free market really working in the airline, banking, cable, and cell phone industries with those very same conditions? Mergers and cooperative agreements have been the order of the day for awhile.
    Proposed modification: To make this bill more effective, it should outlaw direct-to-consumer marketing of drugs. This would reduce development costs, and thereby reduce the cost to the consumer.