Durbin Talks High Prescription Drug Prices, Children's Online Safety With FTC Chair Lina Khan

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, met with Lina Khan, Chair of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  The two discussed their efforts to prevent Big Pharma from exploiting patent policy to inflate its profit margins at the expense of delivering affordable and accessible medications to Americans.  Pharmaceutical companies often improperly list patents the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Orange Book in an attempt to delay FDA approval of a generic form of their drugs.  FTC issued a policy statement in 2023 warning pharmaceutical companies that they would face legal action if they pursued this practice, and recently sent letters to companies identifying over 400 improperly listed patents.  Sharing this concern, Durbin held a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last month that scrutinized pharmaceutical companies’ abuse of the Orange Book and examined prescription drug prices, competition, and how to ensure medications are accessible and affordable for patients.  Last year, Durbin introduced the Interagency Patent Coordination and Improvement Act with Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) to improve coordination between FDA and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on prescription drug-related patents.

Durbin and Chair Khan also spoke about protecting children online.  Durbin, who has led the charge on improving children’s online safety in his role as Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, sought to ensure FTC has sufficient resources to fulfill its missions to protecting online privacy and address the abuses of Big Tech.


“The Federal Trade Commission is tasked with protecting American consumers from the potential harms of corporations, whether that’s Big Tech or Big Pharma,” said Durbin.  “I sat down with Chair Khan to discuss how we can best advocate for consumers, especially when it relates to children’s online safety and the cost of prescription drugs.  I’ll continue to partner with FTC to prevent corporations from employing manipulative tactics that put profits before people.”


Photos of the meeting are available here.