Pallone Visits Pharmaceutical Company To Highlight Legislation To Bring Low-Cost Generic Drugs To Market Faster — Monday, February 13, 2012

Written by | Staff Report

NEW BRUNSWICK — Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., senior Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, visited Ohm Laboratories Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals Inc., on Monday to highlight the Generic Drug and Biosimilar User Fee Act of 2012.

The bipartisan bill introduced by Pallone establishes two critically important programs at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that will help speed the delivery of low-cost drugs and other medicines to patients.

Pallone joined New Brunswick Mayor Jim Cahill and representatives of New Jersey Citizen Action, Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield New Jersey to promote the legislation and the benefits it provides in both patient-care and health-care savings.

"Generic drugs save lives at lower cost, and bringing generic and biosimilar drugs to market faster must be a priority," Pallone said. "This bipartisan legislation will go a long way to giving the FDA the resources it needs to review these drug applications in a timely and effective manner."

Generic drugs have provided more than $824 billion in savings to the nation's health-care system in the past decade, but there is a significant backlog of generic drug applications at the FDA. The bill will authorize an agreement between generic drug manufacturers and the FDA that will expedite review of generic drug applications.

Based in Princeton, Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals is an integrated research-based, international pharmaceutical company. With this new legislation, companies such as Ranbaxy would be able to deliver more low-cost drugs to patients and create jobs in the district.

The bill also authorizes the Biosimilars User Fee Agreement, another new FDA program that resulted from a provision in the Affordable Care Act. It will provide funding for the review and approval of new promising medicines, also known as follow-on biologics or biosimilars, to patients. Biologics are medicines made by a biologic process, rather than a chemical process.

"This legislation would help lower health-care costs for millions of Americans and support local generic drug manufacturers," Pallone said, "and I look forward to moving it through Congress."

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