PIRG urges agencies to break down barriers to generic drugs

Advocates for regulatory changes to end anti-competitive practices and patent abuse to bring lower-cost generic drugs to pharmacy shelves sooner.

Medicine pill container with red, orange, brown and white pills
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Medicine in a pillbox

On Thursday, January 19, 2023 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) are holding a joint public listening session to “ensure that our innovation system strikes the appropriate balance—encouraging meaningful innovation in drug development and supporting a competitive marketplace that can promote greater access to medicines for American families.” 

Patricia Kelmar, PIRG’s senior director for health care campaigns, was selected to speak at Thursday’s session and will focus her remarks on how the two agencies can better collaborate to break down barriers that prevent generic drugs from competing on the marketplace. PIRG submitted comments in advance of the meeting. 

The agencies are holding this listening session in response to President Joe Biden’s 2021 Executive Order on Competition which specifically called for greater support for generic and biosimilar drugs to provide low-cost options for the people who need them.


Patricia Kelmar

Senior Director, Health Care Campaigns, PIRG

Patricia directs the health care campaign work for U.S. PIRG and provides support to our state offices for state-based health initiatives. Her prior roles include senior policy advisor at NJ Health Care Quality Institute, associate state director at AARP New Jersey and consumer advocate at NJPIRG. She was appointed to the Ground Ambulance and Patient Billing Advisory Committee in 2022 and works with patient advocates across the U.S. Patricia enjoys walking along the Potomac River and sharing her love of books with friends and family around the world.

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