Congressmen Kurt Schrader and Adam Kinzinger Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Lower Drug Costs, Incentivize Biosimilars
New Bill Can Reduce Drug Costs for Seniors and Medicare
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressmen Kurt Schrader (D-OR) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) today introduced H.R. 2815, the Bolstering Innovative Options to Save Immediately on Medicines (BIOSIM) Act, to lower health care costs with biosimilars. This legislation is a key step in Congress’ efforts to lower prescription drug costs for Americans and bring meaningful drug pricing reform to patients and the health care system at-large.
As the next generation of generics, biosimilars are the way we lower drug spending,” said Meaghan Smith, Executive Director of the Biosimilars Forum. “Seniors should be able to afford medications prescribed by their physicians, but originator biologics make up the top ten most expensive drugs in Medicare Part B and backwards incentives are preventing patients from accessing lower-cost biosimilars. This legislation is a bipartisan solution to correct those backwards incentivizes and help patients and taxpayers save money with lower-cost biosimilars.
There is no doubt the BIOSIM ACT is a win-win, saving big money for patients and our government,” said Congressman Kurt Schrader. “Biosimilars have long struggled to gain traction in the market, but by incentivizing the use of the lower cost product, they will finally compete with high-cost biologics. This would mean costs for the healthcare system, government and patients – especially seniors – would all go down as we transition to a greater use of these lower cost biosimilar drugs.
One of the most consistent issues I hear about from my constituents is the rising cost of prescription drugs, and the impact those costs have on them and their family. We have a duty to ensure patients are receiving the most affordable option available and that our policies encourage competition to drive prices down,” said Congressman Adam Kinzinger. “The BIOSIM Act aims to lower prices by increasing the utilization of a more affordable alternative to biologics – called biosimilars. As biosimilar utilization goes up, prices for patients will go down. Proud to introduce this legislation with my colleague and grateful to have the support of the Biosimilars Forum.
Biologic drugs account for only 2% of prescriptions, yet make up 40 percent of all U.S. drug spending. While biosimilars cost on average one-third less than the originator biologic, anti-competitive contracting practices and other barriers often disincentivize physicians from prescribing biosimilars and keep patients from accessing the lower-cost option. The legislation introduced today would help fix this by incentivizing biosimilars through a temporary increase in the reimbursement to providers for biosimilars from the average sales price (ASP) of the drug plus six percent to the average sales price (ASP) of the drug plus eight percent.
Similar legislation to increase the ASP reimbursement for biosimilars secured bipartisan support in both the House and Senate last Congress. That legislation passed the House as part of H.R. 3 and was included in the bipartisan Senate Finance Committee drug pricing plan.