Congress Passes Legislation to Lower Health Care Costs Through Bolstering Biosimilars Education
Biosimilars could reduce drug costs by $100 billion in next five years with better patient access
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congress today passed the Advancing Education on Biosimilars Act of 2021, S. 164, sponsored by Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA). The legislation will expand access to biosimilars through increased education for providers and patients and increase health care savings. The bill will now go to President Biden for his signature.
Biosimilars are the next generation of generics and how we can tackle the single biggest driver of prescription drug spending. With increased use of biosimilars and better patient access to these life-changing therapies, the U.S. could save $100 billion in the next five years,” said Meaghan Rose Smith, Executive Director of the Biosimilars Forum. “The FDA has identified education as an important factor for the successful adoption of biosimilars, recognizing the need to increase public awareness in the Biosimilars Action Plan, and increased education can empower physicians and patients. The Biosimilars Forum commends the bipartisan leadership of Senator Hassan, Senator Cassidy, and Congressman Bucshon. We are encouraged to see Congress continuing to recognize biosimilars as a bipartisan solution to help combat rising health care costs.
The bill requires the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to advance education and awareness among health care providers about biological products as appropriate, including by developing or improving continuing education programs that address the prescribing of biological products and biosimilars. The bill also states the FDA may maintain and operate a website to provide educational materials for health care providers, patients, and caregivers, regarding the meaning of the terms, and the standards for review and licensing of, biological products, including biosimilars.
Once signed into law by President Biden, this bipartisan legislation will provide the educational materials and programs to patients and providers that demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of approved biosimilars.