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Committee Advances Bilirakis Health Priorities

June 7, 2017
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12), a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, applauded the committee’s passage of legislation today to reform the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and promote important public health priorities. Among the bills advanced today are Bilirakis’ Congenital Heart Futures Reauthorization Act (H.R. 1222) and the FDA Reauthorization Act (H.R. 2430), which includes a provision authored by Bilirakis aimed at lowering drug prices.

The Congenital Heart Futures Reauthorization Act renews critical surveillance and research programs to better treat and understand congenital heart defects (CHDs). The bill was unanimously approved by the committee, and will head to the House floor for consideration.

“About 40,000 babies will be born over the next year with a congenital heart defect, and 5% will not live to see their first birthday. The road ahead may be scary and uncertain for any parent of a newborn who has CHD, but this bill gives hope to those coping with the diagnosis. We made great progress today by advancing the Congenital Heart Futures Reauthorization Act through the committee,” said Bilirakis.

The committee also passed the FDA Reauthorization Act, which makes important reforms to streamline the FDA’s approval processes, helping get new drugs and treatments to patients faster. Bilirakis worked on a bipartisan provision to spur the development of new generic drugs. This would help increase competition in drug markets and drive prices down.

“Too often, we’ve seen the price of lifesaving drugs skyrocket as bad actors take advantage of monopolies in the market,” said Bilirakis. “It happened in 2015, when Turing Pharmaceuticals hiked the price of an HIV drug from $13.50 to $750 overnight, and again last year when Mylan raised the cost of the EpiPen by 400%. Patients who rely on these medications deserve better, and that’s why I’m glad the FDA Reauthorization Act will include my provision to enhance generic drug competition.”

Both bills passed the Energy and Commerce Committee with unanimous bipartisan support. Please click HERE for a full list of the legislation passed today.