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Senate Passes Enzi, Hassan Bill to Improve Education of Drug Products That Could Help Lower Costs

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The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bill  recently introduced by U.S. Senators Mike Enzi of Wyoming and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire that will enhance education about biosimilar drug products in an effort to increase competition and lower the cost of biologic medicines. According to a joint media release from the two senators, biologics are complex products that may be used to treat serious or chronic conditions, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and certain cancers. Biosimilars are highly similar to and have no clinically meaningful differences from brand biologic drugs, but are manufactured by different companies.

This legislation would provide educational materials to patients and providers to help improve confidence in the safety and effectiveness of these FDA-approved products. Improved confidence in biosimilars could lead to increased use, which in turn could increase health care savings. A 2017 study by the RAND Corporation estimated the cost savings potential of biosimilars to be $54 billion over ten years. Senators Enzi and Hassan introduced the Safeguarding Therapeutics Act earlier this month that would give the FDA authority to seize and destroy counterfeit medical devices and products, including COVID-19 tests and vaccines, as well as counterfeit combination products like EpiPens.

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