TAXPAYER WATCHDOG GROUP COMMENDS HUGGINS ON GENERIC DRUG ISSUE

For Immediate Release Contact:  Jim Campi or Aaron Taylor
February 15, 2000 (202) 467-5300

 

(Washington, D.C.) -- The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, and its 10,700 members in the state of Georgia commended Senator Sonny Huggins today for standing firm and voting with the citizens of Georgia by rejecting SB 239.  The bill would have created a barrier to accessing less expensive but safe and effective generic drugs.

“The citizens of District 53 and of the entire state of Georgia should be thankful that Senator Huggins is looking out for them and their wallets.  SB 239 would have created a mechanism by which it would have been practically impossible to substitute a less expensive generic for certain prescription drugs,” stated Tom Schatz, president of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste.  “We have seen similar legislation all over the country and have testified before legislatures and pharmacy boards on exactly this issue.  Certain brand-name drug companies are lobbying state legislatures to create a list of drugs to prevent generic substitution.  While these companies cite safety as a reason for these lists, the real story is they are simply trying to protect market share because they are facing competition for the first time.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves all drugs, including generics, for the market place.  All generic drugs must go through extensive tests to make sure they are safe and effective.  When the FDA says a generic drug is therapeutically equivalent to a brand name drug, there is no scientific reason why they cannot be substituted for one another.  Furthermore, this type of law is unnecessary.  A doctor can always prevent substitution by simply checking a box on the prescription slip, which says Brand Necessary.

“Because of Senator Huggin’s vigilance, Georgia citizens have been saved millions of healthcare dollars that can be used on other health expenses.  CCAGW and its 10,700 members thank him for fighting against government waste in the state of Georgia,” concluded Schatz.

CCAGW is the lobbying arm of Citizens Against Government Waste, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, mismanagement and abuse in government. 

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