Menendez, Booker Applaud Final Passage of CREATES Act to Rein in High Cost of Rx Drugs

Menendez, Booker Applaud Final Passage of CREATES Act to Rein in High Cost of Rx Drugs


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez, a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee that sets national health policy, and Cory Booker today hailed passage of bipartisan legislation they cosponsored to rein in the costs skyrocketing prescription drug by making it easier for lower-cost generics to come to market.  The bill was included in the year-end funding package passed by Congress last week. 

“Ensuring companies are playing fairly and providing samples to generic makers is key to ensuring patients get access to lower-cost generics quickly and safely,” said Sen. Menendez.  “The CREATES Act will do just that.  At a time when too many Americans struggle to afford their medications, we need to make sure generic prescription drugs are available to every patient who depends on them as soon as possible.”

“Every day, millions of Americans struggle to afford their lifesaving medication, which is absolutely shameful in a country as wealthy as ours,” Sen. Booker said. “By making it easier for generic prescriptions to come to the market, this bipartisan legislation will put the focus back on patients and begin much needed oversight of the prescription drug industry. I proudly voted for this legislation in the Judiciary Committee, and I am thankful this was included in the year-end funding package and look forward to continue working on additional policies to bring down drug prices.”  

The bipartisan Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act cracks down on drug companies that intentionally delay the required sharing of product samples with generic manufacturers needed to develop generic, lower cost versions of the brand-name drug.  Under the bill, the branded pharmaceutical company could be held civilly liable and subject to damages for not providing samples in a timely fashion.

When signed into law, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates the bill will result in a $3.9 billion net decrease in the federal deficit.  Savings to consumers and private insurers likely would be far greater—many billions of dollars more.  The legislation is strongly supported by a coalition of groups as diverse as AARP, American College of Physicians, FreedomWorks, Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs, and many more. 

Sen. Menendez cosponsored the CREATES Act, originally introduced in the last Congress by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), as part of series of measures to lower prescription drug prices.  In June 2018, Sen. Menendez grilled Health & Human Services Secretary Alex Azar over the Trump Administration’s position on the CREATES Act.