White House Budget Proposal Recognizes Urgent Need to Increase Patient Access to Lower-Cost Biosimilars

WASHINGTON — In response to the White House’s newly released budget proposal, which references the administration’s support for “changes to bring lower-cost generic and biosimilar drugs to patients,” the Biosimilars Forum released the following statement: 

We are pleased that the president’s budget proposal again explicitly acknowledges that legislative changes to bolster the biosimilars market ‘would increase competition, reduce drug prices, and lower out-of-pocket costs for patients at the pharmacy counter.’ The administration can achieve all of those goals with simple administrative and legislative action—such as eliminating out-of-pocket costs (co-pays), increasing physician add-on payments and implementing a shared savings program—which we know can save Medicare beneficiaries up to $3.3 billion in health care costs and $8.2 billion for taxpayers over the ten years.

The Forum urges President Trump to act swiftly to alleviate the financial burden on our nation’s seniors, patients and taxpayers by making simple changes that increase biosimilars and result in near-immediate health care savings.

The budget proposal signaled support for “legislative efforts to improve the Medicare Part D benefit by establishing an out-of-pocket maximum, improving incentives to contain costs, and reducing out-of-pocket expenses for seniors.” 

Like the administration, Congress has recognized the cost-saving potential of biosimilars, taking bipartisan action in the House on three key policies that would save patients and taxpayers billions of dollars over the next decade: 

  • Acting to Cancel Copays and Ensure Substantial Savings for Biosimilars (ACCESS). This bipartisan bill would waive patients’ out-of-pocket costs for biosimilars under Medicare Part B.  
  • Bolstering Innovative Options to Save Immediately on Medicines (BIOSIM) Act that would enhance provider reimbursement by increasing the ASP add-on payment rate for biosimilars in Medicare Part B. A similar bill was part of the Senate Finance Package in July.
  • Star Ratings for Biosimilars Act that would implement an access measure to incentivize Medicare Advantage and Part D plans to improve access to biosimilars on their formularies. This legislation was included as a provision in the Senate’s Finance Package in July.

These money-saving policies should be enacted by Congress or by President Trump himself to answer the millions of calls by hard-working Americans to lower drug costs. 

For more information on these policies visit supportbiosimilars.com.