PORTLAND — Maine U.S. Sen. Susan Collins says an amendment she proposed to improve generic drug competition has been approved as part of the Food and Drug Reauthorization Act.

Collins says the measure is part of an investigation into “aggressive price hikes” in prescription drugs, and it will improve generic drug competition to help make prices lower.

Generics tend to cost 80 percent to 85 percent less than brand name drugs.

Collins, a Republican, says the amendment was approved on Thursday at a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee business meeting. It’s identical to legislation introduced by Collins and Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat.

McCaskill says the measure incentivizes competition and speeds up the approvals process. It is also designed to improve visibility of the backlog of generic drug applications.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Senate Intelligence Committee, finishes a television news interview on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday, March 28, 2017. 

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