Applauding Daschle Increasing Access to Generics
The Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA) released the following statement today from GPhA President and CEO
Kathleen Jaeger regarding comments made during the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee confirmation hearings for Senator Tom Daschle for Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).
"Consumers across the country should be pleased with Senator Daschle's stated commitment this morning to strengthening the FDA and ensuring that Americans have access to affordable generic medicines. During these tough economic times, it is critically important that consumers can obtain high quality affordable health care that they can trust.
"The FDA plays a monumental role in protecting the public health. That's why the generic pharmaceutical industry has long championed the need for increased resources for the Agency. We are very pleased that the Secretary-designate recognizes the need for ensuring that FDA has the resources it needs to effectively achieve its mission. Senator Daschle's comments on ensuring adequate resources for FDA, guaranteeing that science drives public health policy, strong FDA leadership, and better inter-agency coordination are sound steps to ensure FDA is a strong and vibrant public health agency.
"We were very pleased to hear Senator Daschle, in his response to Senator Orrin Hatch's comments regarding the value of generic medicines, state that 'As we look to ways to bring down costs, I am absolutely convinced that a big part of that effort, if it is going to be done successfully, will be determined by the degree to which generic drugs are allowed to play the role that it can. The OGD needs to be supported and financed and needs to be given the kind of priority and empowerment it deserves.' As this week's release of the National Health Care Spending Report demonstrated, increasing access to safe, effective and affordable generic medicines will help our nation reduce health care costs.
"We also welcome Senator Daschle's commitment to ensure that FDA-decision making is science based by emphatically stating that, 'As Secretary, I will work to ensure that trust in FDA is restored as the leading science-based regulatory agency in the world. And I will send a clear message from the top that the President and I expect key decisions at the FDA to be made on the basis of science - period.'
"The generic industry looks forward to working with Senator Daschle as he takes the helm of the largest domestic Cabinet agency in our government. As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the historic passage of the Hatch-
Waxman Act that has brought generic medicines to countless consumers, the new Administration and Congress has an extraordinary opportunity to expand access to quality health care for all Americans."
GPhA represents the manufacturers and distributors of finished generic pharmaceuticals, manufacturers and distributors of bulk active pharmaceutical chemicals, and suppliers of other goods and services to the generic drug industry. Generics represent 65% of the total prescriptions dispensed in the United States, but only 20% of all dollars spent on prescription drugs. For more information about the industry, visit www.gphaonline.org.