Daines Presses FDA on Access to Affordable Medicine for Montanans

U.S. SENATE — Following recent reports of the sky-high price hikes for lifesaving EpiPens, U.S. Senator Steve Daines today sought to ensure that Montanans had access to affordable lifesaving medication.

During an Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration & Related Agencies hearing on the Food and Drug Administration’s role in the generic drug marketplace, Daines pressed FDA Director, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Dr. Janet Woodcock on competition in the medical marketplace. 

“We are here because of huge spikes in the price of specific prescription medication. Most significantly, a 400% increase in the price of the EpiPen, a lifesaving drug and delivery system that many Montanans depend on,” Daines stated. “With little competition in the market, the spikes go unchecked and I am greatly concerned about the impact on Montanans, some of whom have to choose between buying their prescription drugs and food. We need to increase competition – creating market checks on the price of drugs and decreasing costs for those who need them.”

Click here to watch Daines’ remarks.

Click here to download Daines’ remarks. 

Background: According to the Generic Pharmaceutical Association’s forthcoming Generic Drug Savings in the United States report, Lipitor, a common cholesterol drug sold for $3.29 a pill before a generic was introduced in 2011. The generic now sells for $0.14 a pill – a 96% savings. That’s $4 for a 30-day supply – down from $87 in 2010. The monthly savings on Lipitor alone is the equivalent of 27 gallons of milk.