WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden today signed into law bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA) to enhance education about biosimilar drug products in an effort to increase competition and lower the cost of biologic medicines.
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. Independent studies have estimated that biologics could save Americans potentially $54 billion over 10 years in health care costs.
“This new law will allow us to take an important step forward in expanding access to affordable, lifesaving drugs for Granite Staters,” said Senator Hassan. “I am glad to once again team up with Senator Cassidy to help lower health care costs for Granite Staters and all Americans, and I will continue working across the aisle to help ensure that our health care system works for everyone.”
“If you see an advertisement for an expensive biologic, there’s a good chance there are similar drugs out there that work just as well but are less expensive,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This bill educates doctors, nurses and most importantly patients that you can also take this other medicine. We’re putting the power of education into the hands of patients to make wise decisions for their health and their wallet.”
Senators Hassan and Cassidy have previously worked together to help lower the cost of health care, and recently led successful efforts to include a provision in the year-end package that was signed into law to help end the absurd practice of surprise medical billing. Additionally, in 2019, President Trump signed into law bipartisan legislation introduced by Senators Hassan and Cassidy to close a loophole in the Medicaid rebate program that results in big pharmaceutical companies overcharging taxpayers. The bipartisan legislation will save taxpayers approximately $3.1 billion over the next 10 years.