TAXPAYER WATCHDOG GROUP SUBMITS TESTIMONY OPPOSING GENERIC DRUG RESTRICTIONS IN GEORGIA | Citizens Against Government Waste

TAXPAYER WATCHDOG GROUP SUBMITS TESTIMONY OPPOSING GENERIC DRUG RESTRICTIONS IN GEORGIA

Press Release

For Immediate ReleaseContact:  Jim Campi or Aaron Taylor

February 7, 2000

(202) 467-5300

 

(ATLANTA, Ga.) — Elizabeth Wright, Director of the Health and Science Division of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), today submitted written testimony to the Georgia Senate Committee on Health and Human Services opposing Senate Bill 239.  SB 239 would effectively require the state Board of Pharmacy, in consultation with the state Board of Medical Examiners, to establish a list of drugs which could not be substituted with generic equivalents. 

While this bill is being advertised as an effort to protect consumers from dangerous drugs, it is in fact an attempt to protect the monopolies of a few brand-name drugs.  "Simply put, it guarantees to the brand-name manufacturer that at least in the state of Georgia they won't have to worry about competition from those pesky generics, which sell for as much as eighty percent less," Wright wrote. 

The federal Food and Drug Administration requires that generic drugs undergo extensive testing to ensure that they are pharmacologically equivalent to the brand-name drugs for which they are substituted.  Any restrictions or requirements for further testing, as proposed by SB 239, would constitute a wasteful duplication of rigorous federal testing. 

Further, the additional layers of bureaucracy mandated by SB 239 would make it difficult for patients in Georgia to obtain generic drugs readily available to patients all over the country.  Consumers in Georgia would be left no real choice but to purchase the more expensive name-brand drugs.  This would unnecessarily increase costs not only for those consumers, but for government programs that assist needy patients as well, such as Medicaid.

"We support the notion that pharmaceutical research companies are entitled to recover a fair return on their investments.  It encourages them to search out and develop new, life-saving drugs, which benefit us all.  But rigorous competition also breeds innovation and increases quality while keeping costs down.  CCAGW asks that you support the patient, the taxpayer, and the idea of open competition by rejecting SB 239," Wright concluded.

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

 

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