Biosimilar bill defeated in Texas

Bills to circumvent biosimilar substitution remain under consideration in five states

WASHINGTON — Texas has become the latest state to defeat a bill that critics say would limit the reach of knock-off versions of biotech drugs.

Texas' state legislature defeated Senate Bill 190, which is similar to bills in other states that would make it harder for pharmacists to substitute biosimilars for branded biotech drugs. Similar bills have been defeated in Florida, Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Nevada and Washington. The bills in Virginia and Utah passed, but with sunset clauses that are expected to cause them to expire before biosimilars become available; only the bill in North Dakota passed intact, and five other states are considering them.

"Against great odds, key leadership stood firmly in favor of patient health and cost savings by stopping this legislation right in its tracks," Generic Pharmaceutical Association president and CEO Ralph Neas said. The GPhA, a trade group that represents generic drug makers, cited data from pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts showing that biosimilar versions of 11 widely used biologics could save the U.S. healthcare system $250 billion between 2014 and 2024.


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