Michael Brzica, Vice President of Federal Government Affairs at the Association for Accessible Medicines about lowering drug prices

Newsmaker Interviews
Tuesday, February 6th

Michael Brzica, Vice President of Federal Government Affairs at the Association for Accessible Medicines  talks to Frank Andrews about lowering prescription drug prices, generic drugs, and the CREATES Act.


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

I tracked down the association. For accessible medicines. And on the line with us right now from Washington is Michael Brezec he is a vice president of federal government affairs Michael how are you. I pregnant doing well thanks are you gonna do is simple questions first about Telus Telus what AM and so we know ER. Sure of course AM is that credit association and we represent generic and virus similar drug manufacturers. OK what what what is the creates act I mean there's a big push for this tonight. Yeah thanks we. We're hoping that that could truly put this over the top. The create fact is that he's a legislation currently being considered in congress. In the house and senate that would end at some anti competitive abuses. In the pharmaceutical market. Maybe play some brand drug manufacturers who refuse to sell their product to a potential generic drug developer. Quit using that product to conduct some testing that necessary to gain FDA approval. The fundamental fact is if we don't get access to that part to the brand drug. We can't submit an application to the Food and Drug Administration. We kick it crew just a little market. And generic drugs can't begin to ebitda and or pricing pressure on somebody district expensive brand drugs that we would like to see I just come down. So Michael is that is that tied to they leave the drugmaker wanna say hang onto their brand. Well try it this is really a creative strategy that some brand drug makers used to protect a monopoly. You know. We can't come to the market until. Underlined the exclusivity is an expired. But if the brand can keep a generic profile on an application at the FDA they can maintain a monopoly a lot longer than not the law otherwise would provide. Now wait we have big drug manufacturer in our area senate to pass store and we have lots of people that are involved in the pharmaceutical industry and one of the arguments that and then I remember them making when we talked about this was true well keeping the brand allows them to make the money so they can every assertion development and you can't get rid of that or you're gonna damage the pharmaceutical industry. Yeah African I don't want to discount the importance of of innovation we are a renovation. The fact of the matter is you know today's innovative drugs are Smart as generics so we wanted to ensure that that the incentives to innovate are protected and maintain. We just wanna make sure that that innovation occurring in a laboratory and the on the legal department. Well now if you if you if you are involved in generics. This is another question people have had up arms are generics always the same quality is a brand. According to the FDA yes they after being so we have to prove to the FDA. That are drug is what the law calls by no equivalent so we have to have the same active ingredient the same chemical composition. We have to impact the same the body in the same way that the brand it's unbelievable the safety warnings everything about our drug is got to be the same as the brands. Worst work under the same safety standards the same efficacy standards at the grand and that and that indicates a well over thirty years. Now I'm I'm reading your I'm I'm on your your website right now. You talk about six bio similar is in Medicare part. Does that. Sure sir oh right now by dissimilar to our new class of drugs. You know the typical drug that most consumers are familiar with our small molecule drugs. That he had been around a long long time. By a similar issue a word that ten years and to the market right now and there are eight that are currently approved for use the FDA. It would tardy in the market the restaurant I that the litigation. Are trying to enter the market at at your earliest possible date. A device similar to our device they are our data to drive a living OJ and so. They're not quite the same as small molecule drugs but they are highly similar to their grand parents. And it. In Medicare part. For our placement in the insurance plans and that I get to patients I'm the same terms I want the same payment structure is in their grandparents to. Michael this creates act I mean under the the story here from the Hillis 44 groups and they're saying that it's you know bipartisan and you got groups that normally are opposed to each other are supporting this what was a chance this is gonna pass to you know. Or optimistic. Europe and they are Republican Tom Marino was there at the sponsor of the bill in the house. And he's pushing hard. In this senate. Republicans like Chuck Grassley and Tom cotton. Mike Lee and Ted Cruz and endorsed the bill and they are joined by at an interest in senate Democrats including Dianne Feinstein. Pat Leahy. And any all the car and Dick Durbin and so. In others. Currently I think sixteenth monsters in the house or picture pictured being sponsored in the senate and the house. The bill would save you taxpayers nearly four billion dollars. In light of the broad support the bill got from lawmakers and stakeholders. Across the country what. Optimistic. We we were doing our best to push this over the line. And again I really encourage her listeners to our congressmen and their senators and encourage them to our coast untrue to create facts. Now 85 point 5% of the voters who were surveyed said to lowering drug prices a key priority. Is it is this really gonna affect you know Mary and Joseph sitting on their back Porsche you're wondering you know how they're gonna pay for their medicine is a really can have an impact on them. It's certainly well you know I think Mary Joseph and anybody out the list name. I you know they ought to know about a set of a chair. I don't think anybody looks at the cause they generics and and says that they're cheap they have to choose between that you know pay in more danger or buying groceries that month. We will make sure generics can enter the market and keep earliest possible date. Once we can do that we can start to bring down drug prices. And ensure that they consider access access to more affordable medicines they created that will help us get her door and be in the development process necessary. And we're gonna start to see some relief from high prescription drug prices in the short term. OK and tell us so tell us how people get in touch with your organization not tell us what your website where people go. Yes so our web site is www. Accessible med dot org. That's ACC. ES SI BL EM EDS got ORG. They can also go to www. Stop. REM S abuse. Dot com and now give them a little more information on the create. Michael president thank you very much for joining us and we'll lucky we'll keep the audience posted on this creates act I'm grateful to. You're welcome thanks separately opportunity to speak with a great absolutely.