U.S. House panel approves three bills aimed at tackling high drug prices - (US News & World Report via NewsPoints Desk)

  • The US House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday voted to approve three bills that would stop practices drugmakers use to raise prices and fend off competition, as reported by the US News & World Report.

  • The Congressional Budget Office estimated that banning pay-for-delay patent deals used to stall generic competition - the subject of one of the bills - would save Americans more than half a billion dollars over 10 years, said Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler.

  • The House Judiciary Committee voted on Wednesday to enable the Federal Trade Commission to ban sham citizen petitions, where drugmakers petition the FDA about a generic company seeking approval for a rival drug with the goal of delaying its market entry.

  • They also approved a measure to stop product-hopping, the practice of making a minor tweak to the formula of a drug to win a new patent, and would also stop pay-for-delay patent deals.

  • The House Judiciary committee is set to vote on Thursday on the last measure, which would make it easier to bring to market biosimilars.

  • The measures must then be taken up by the full House and Senate.

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