Frist responds to generic drug initiative and Sudan Peace Act

From Staff Reports

   U.S. Senator Bill Frist, R-Tenn., on Monday responded to the President's proposal to speed the availability of lower-cost generic drugs to Americans as well as his signing of the Sudan Peace Act.
   "Rising costs are putting health care and health insurance out of reach for too many Americans. The growth in pharmaceutical costs is outpacing all categories of health spending," Frist said during a teleconference. Frist, who is a physician, said the President will issue proposed FDA (Federal Drug Administration) rules to make generic drugs more available.
   "Some drug makers have exploited gaps in the law, wrongly delaying the availability of generic drugs at the expense of patients and consumers," he said.
   Frist promised to work with those in Congress to find ways to increase access to affordable prescription medications while preserving appropriate incentives that have made the U.S. the world's leader in health care.
   The Sudan Peace Act was first introduced in 1998 by Sen. Frist. In Sudan, over two million people have died and over 4 million have been displaced in a civil war over the past two decades.
   The bill the President signed Monday authorizes funds to build democracy and civil society in southern Sudan. It sets new U.S. policy in Sudan to monitor human rights abuses and creates a framework for judging both parties' actions to implement peace.
   "Negotiations for peace will be a long road, but this new law now signed by the President will help steer Sudan toward a peaceful solution that will end the terrible suffering by it's people," Frist said.