Brown proposes bill to lower biologic drug prices

Published 10:23 am Friday, July 1, 2016

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, has proposed legislation aimed at helping to lower the price of drugs to combat diseases like cancer and arthritis.

“The high cost of prescription drugs hurts patients, strains Medicare and Medicaid, and drives up private insurance costs,” Brown said a news conference with reporters on Wednesday.

“Among the most expensive prescription drugs, biologics can be effective in treating cancer and other illnesses, but are often too expensive.”

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Brown said his legislation,

The PRICED Act, will allow for more competition in the market for biologics, drugs made from living organisms, which have the longest exclusivity for any approved pharmaceutical.

It will also provide for more new biosimilars to give more options for consumers, which will drive down prices, he said.

“This will save taxpayers billions of dollars while incentivizing innovation that could save lives,” Brown said.

Brown was joined on the call by Brian Lehman, the manager of pharmacy benefits and policy for Ohio Public Employees Retirement System.

“Healthcare purchasers and Ohioans need biosimilar competition and savings,” Lehman said. “Biosimilar competition will help us continue providing a high quality health plan — just as generic drug competition has helped.”