WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 7, 2022) – The members of the Association for Accessible Medicines (AAM) and the Biosimilars Council are extremely disappointed by the Senate’s passage of legislation that will further frustrate patient access to safe, affordable generic and biosimilar medicines. The Senate has chosen to replace competition – the only proven way to provide patients relief from high brand drug prices – with a flawed framework for government price setting that will chill the development of, and reduce patient access to, lower-cost generic and biosimilar medicines. While the bill’s ill-advised price setting scheme will harm Medicare and seniors, its negative impact will extend to employers and patients that rely on generic and biosimilar medicines to keep costs down.
President & Chief Executive Officer
Association for Accessible Medicines
With foresight, deliberation and bipartisanship, Congress built a foundation for patient relief from high brand drug costs through the Hatch-Waxman Amendments. More recently, the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPCIA) provided a pathway for biosimilar medicines to come to market to dramatically alter the trajectory of skyrocketing spending on expensive brand biologics. In fact, in just one-year, biosimilar competition cut in half the growth of spending on oncology drugs.
The generic and biosimilars industry has long advocated for strengthening these and other foundational laws and policies to further reduce prescription drug costs for patients, employers and taxpayers. This can be done by ending anti-competitive practices, patent abuses and reversing perverse incentives in the value chain that favor expensive brand name medicines. A few of AAM’s specific policy recommendations, including:
- Encouraging generic and biosimilars adoption by ending the Part D benefit coverage gap discount program and increasing plan liability in the catastrophic phase
- Increasing physicians' incentives to use biosimilars over more expensive innovator biologics (ASP+8%)
were adopted under the budget reconciliation construct, but the association and its members will continue to aggressively advocate for additional, more systemic measures that preserve and enhance the tools that drive generic and biosimilar competition and patient access and savings.
AAM is driven by the belief that access to safe, quality, effective medicine has a tremendous impact on a person’s life and the world around them. Generic and biosimilar medicines improve people’s lives, improving society and the economy in turn. AAM represents the manufacturers and distributors of finished generic pharmaceuticals and biosimilars, manufacturers and distributors of bulk pharmaceutical chemicals, and suppliers of other goods and services to the generic industry. Generic pharmaceuticals are 90 percent of prescriptions dispensed in the U.S. but only 18 percent of total drug spending.
About the Biosimilars Council
The Biosimilars Council, a division of the Association for Accessible Medicines (AAM), works to ensure a positive environment for patient access to biosimilar medicines. The Biosimilars Council is a leading source for information about the safety and efficacy of more affordable alternatives to costly brand biologic medicines. Areas of focus include public and health expert education, strategic partnerships, government affairs, legal affairs and regulatory policy. More information is available at www.biosimilarscouncil.org.