Congressman Johnson Fights to Lower Drug Prices, Protect Consumers Online

September 30, 2021
Press Release
Rep. Johnson’s legislation to lower Rx prices, and protect online shoppers from fakes pass Judiciary Committee heads to full House for vote

WASHINGTON, D.C. Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04), a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, had two bipartisan bills pass out of the Judiciary Committee today – The Affordable Prescriptions for Patients Through Improvements to Patent Litigation Act, H.R. 2884, and The SHOP SAFE Act, H.R. 5374.

THE AFFORDABLE PRESCRIPTIONS FOR PATIENTS THROUGH IMPROVEMENTS TO PATENT LITIGATION ACT

Introduced by Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet Chairman Johnson (D-GA), Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet Ranking Member Darrell Issa (R-CA), and U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and John Cornyn (R-TX), the Affordable Prescriptions for Patients Through Improvements to Patent Litigation Act helps simplify the process of bringing generic versions of a particularly high-cost class of drug called biologics to the marketplace, which should result in lower prices for consumers.

The bill now goes to the full House for passage.

“One of the top issues I hear from my constituents in Georgia’s Fourth District is that prescription drugs are too expensive,” said Rep. Johnson. “This bill’s name may be long, but its purpose is simple: it seeks to bring down medical costs by streamlining the pathway for alternatives to expensive, brand-name biological drugs, known as biologics, to get to consumers.”

Chairman Johnson’s opening statement can be found here.

THE SHOP SAFE ACT

The House Judiciary Committee also marked up and voted out of committee the Stopping Harmful Offers on Platforms by Screening Against Fakes in E-commerce (SHOP SAFE) Act that protects consumers by stopping the online sale of harmful counterfeit products. As chairman of the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet, Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04) is co-lead of the bill and held a hearing on the issue in May of 2021. The bill is led by Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) who is the original sponsor, and other co-leads include Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet Ranking Member Darrell Issa (R-CA), and Representative Ben Cline (R-VA).

The bill now goes to the full House for passage.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Americans spent $791.7 billion on e-commerce in 2020, up over 30% from 2019. As more consumers opt to shop online, they are increasingly vulnerable to the rising number of counterfeit goods sold on e-commerce platforms. The COVID-19 pandemic has also exacerbated this potential harm as the amount of time consumers spend online and the types of high-risk counterfeits available on these platforms have risen. The SHOP SAFE Act reduces the availability of harmful counterfeit products online by incentivizing platforms to engage in best practices for vetting sellers and goods, addressing repeat counterfeiter sellers, and ensuring consumers have access to relevant information at the time of purchase.

“We are no longer in the era of fake watches and handbags being sold out of car trunks.  As consumers have moved online, counterfeiters have embraced the Internet, too.  But shopping on an online marketplace should come with the same customer trust and confidence as a brick-and-mortar store – today it does not.  The SHOP SAFE Act is a good first step to countering this troubling trend and protecting American consumers.”

The SHOP SAFE Act will:

  • Establish trademark liability for online marketplace platforms when a third-party sells a counterfeit product that poses a risk to consumer health or safety and that platform does not follow certain best practices;
  • Incentivize online platforms to establish best practices such as vetting sellers to ensure their legitimacy, removing counterfeit listings, and removing sellers who repeatedly sell counterfeits; and
  • Call for online marketplaces to take steps necessary to prevent the continued sale of counterfeits by the third-party seller or face contributory liability for their actions.

A copy of the full bill text can be found here

A one-pager on the bill can be found here.  

A section-by-section analysis of the bill can be found here

Chairman Johnson’s opening statement can be found here

 

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Recent Votes

Date Roll Call Bill Vote
10/26/2021 336 H.R.2119 Yea
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