Bill aims to make generic drugs more affordable for seniors

Importing cheaper prescription drugs to Florida was one of the most hotly contested fights of the 2019 legislative session. (Tom Varco/ CC BY-SA 3.0)
By  | 

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — U.S. Reps. Annie Kuster of New Hampshire and David McKinley of West Virginia have introduced a bill to make generic drugs more affordable for seniors.

Kuster, a Democrat, and McKinley, a Republican, said Wednesday that last year, low-cost generic medications saved Medicare patients over $90 billion, but those savings are at risk because a growing number of these medicines have been moved into the same category as more expensive brand-name drugs.

They say the bill would help reverse the negative impact of these recent changes to reduce out-of-pocket costs for patients on Medicare Part D.

The bill would ensure automatic coverage under Medicare of lower-cost generic medications immediately after launch; place generic drugs in a "generic-only" category so patients aren't charged the higher brand rate; and create a dedicated pricing category for specialty generic medications.