Gardner Bill to Lower Prescription Prices Passed by Key Committee

Washington, D.C. – Legislation authored by Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) to lower prescription costs and increase competition in the prescription drug marketplace passed a key congressional committee this week as part of a bipartisan bill to reduce health care costs.  

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions passed the Lower Health Care Costs Act of 2019 by a vote of 20-3. Included in the bill is Senator Cory Gardner’s Ensuring Timely Access to Generics Act to reform the Food and Drug Administration’s citizen petition process for generic prescription drugs. 

“Too many Coloradans are suffering from the rising costs of prescription drugs and don’t have any options or choices available to them,” said Senator Gardner. “This is partly because bad actors are using the FDA’s citizen petition process to delay generic drugs from reaching the market, denying Coloradans more options at the pharmacy. While this legislation is just one step to give families relief at the pharmacy, it’s a critical one. I’ll continue to work with my colleagues to lower prescription drug costs, and I urge swift passage of the Lower Health Care Costs Act.”

The citizen petition process allows interested stakeholders, including drug companies, to bring concerns to the FDA’s attention regarding pending applications. Currently, bad actors have discovered how to exploit this process by filing citizen petitions in order to delay the approval of generic competitors and extend their patent protections. This legislation ensures the FDA’s ability to reject citizen petitions if they believe that the primary purpose of the petition is to delay the approval of an application, thereby increasing competition in the marketplace and lowering costs for patients. 


Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.