WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senators Rick Scott and Chris Van Hollen introduced the We Protect American Investment in Drugs (PAID) Act of 2019 to address the soaring cost of prescription drug prices. The We PAID Act prohibits Pharmaceutical companies developing prescription drugs using federally-funded research, like NIH or CDC grants, from charging American consumers unreasonable prices for life-saving drugs.

Senator Rick Scott said, “There is no reason drug companies, especially those using taxpayer dollars to fund their research, should be charging Americans unreasonable prices for life-saving drugs. Families in Florida and across our nation are struggling to afford the prescription drugs they need to survive. The We PAID Act is one thing we can do to reduce the costs of drugs. If you used taxpayer-funded research to develop your drugs, you can’t charge unreasonable prices to American patients. It’s as simple as that. I urge all my colleagues to join Senator Van Hollen and I in support of this bipartisan and common sense legislation.”

Senator Chris Van Hollen said, “Maryland is proud to be home to NIH, and their talented scientists are on the front lines of life-saving research. I’ve consistently fought to increase our federal investment in NIH, but we must also make sure that taxpayers are getting a fair return on their investment – instead of being gouged by drug companies. The premise of this bill is simple: If the research behind your drug has been funded by taxpayers, then you have to set a reasonable price and limit price hikes. Private companies using publicly funded science should not be raking in huge profits while consumers and taxpayers are struggling to pay the skyrocketing prices of the very drugs they helped fund in the first place.”

The We PAID Act of 2019 would:

  • Direct the National Academy of Medicine to complete a study on how to determine the reasonableness of a drug’s price, taking into account factors including:
    • Federal funding used in the development of the drug;
    • Affordability of the drug to consumers; and
    • The price of the drug in other similar, industrialized countries
  • Establish an independent Drug Affordability and Access Committee to determine a reasonable price for each applicable drug based on the results of the National Academy of Medicine study.
  • Require drug manufacturers that enter into licensing agreements for technology patented by the U.S. government or by an entity that developed the technology using federal funding through NIH or other federal agencies to agree to:
    • Not exceed the reasonable price determined by the Drug Affordability and Access Committee beginning after one year on the market;
    • Limit the annual price increase on any drug developed using this licensed technology to the rate of medical inflation; and
    • Submit the manufacturer’s drug price and information on the development of the drug to the Drug Affordability and Access Committee for a reasonable pricing determination
  • Require proper disclosure of government support in the development of patented technology, and allow a private right of action and/or a claim to be brought under Inter Partes Review before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent and Trial Appeal Board in the event proper disclosure does not occur.

Senator Scott is working on four other bills aimed at reducing the costs of prescription drugs:

  1. The America First Drug Pricing Plan addresses the soaring costs of prescription drugs by promoting transparency and preventing drug companies from forcing American consumers to subsidize low drug prices in foreign countries.
  2. The Protecting Patients from Surprise Medical Bills Act ends the practice of surprise medical billing.
  3. The Prescription Drug Price Reporting Act creates a consumer-friendly database of prescription drug prices.
  4. The Affordable Prescriptions for Patients Act prevents anti-competitive behavior from pharmaceutical companies to open the market for more affordable prescription drugs.