Bill aims to make generic drugs more affordable for seniors

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — U.S. Reps. Annie Kuster of New Hampshire and David McKinley of West Virginia have introduced a bill to make generic drugs more affordable for seniors.

Kuster, a Democrat, and McKinley, a Republican, said Wednesday that last year, low-cost generic medications saved Medicare patients over $90 billion, but those savings are at risk because a growing number of these medicines have been moved into the same category as more expensive brand-name drugs.

They say the bill would help reverse the negative impact of these recent changes to reduce out-of-pocket costs for patients on Medicare Part D.

The bill would ensure automatic coverage under Medicare of lower-cost generic medications immediately after launch; place generic drugs in a "generic-only" category so patients aren't charged the higher brand rate; and create a dedicated pricing category for specialty generic medications.