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Drug Bills Take Narrow Road to Rein in Patent Deals, Lower Costs (2)

July 29, 2021, 9:30 AM; Updated: July 29, 2021, 4:55 PM

Major pharmaceutical companies could face a tougher time keeping lower-cost versions of their drugs off the market as lawmakers weigh a round of bipartisan legislation aimed at reducing barriers to competition.

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday advanced four bills that would rein in drugmaker practices such as dealmaking to delay generic market entry and “product hopping,” which involves switching expiring patents to a new version of a drug to keep competitors from stepping in.

“The time for action on pharma has finally arrived,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn), who introduced two of the bills, said in an interview. Klobuchar said ...

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