USA – Legislation would facilitate generic drug entry, raise tobacco-buying age

The Senate health committee chair on Monday amended its suite of healthcare proposals to include the Creates Act, aimed at boosting the generic-drug market, and to raise the legal age for buying tobacco products to 21.

These two major additions to the package from committee leaders Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) didn’t come as a big surprise. The Creates Act cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee last year, and two committees in the U.S. House of Representatives, but has not been up for a floor vote yet. The bill would prohibit brand-name manufacturers from keeping drug samples out of the hands of generic competitors.

The proposal to raise the legal age for purchasing tobacco was first introduced at the end of May by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.). A stated priority for McConnell, the bill would target vaping devices and e-cigarettes as well as cigarettes, amid mounting public health concern about widespread teen use…