Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Generic Biologics Legislation Announced

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Susan Collins (R-ME), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Mel Martinez (R-FL), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and David Vitter (R-LA) announced Thursday [March 26] that they have reached agreement on bipartisan legislation to create an approval pathway for generic versions of biologic drugs. The measure, which was endorsed in President Obama’s budget proposal, would save federal programs like Medicare and Medicaid at least $10 billion dollars by bringing needed competition to the marketplace.

This is an excerpt from a March 26 press release from the office of Senator Schumer. Read more here.

3 comments:

ellie said...

This sounds great! Let's face it even with insurance having MS and trying to contain it's damage is so expensive!!. Let's hope the generic version is as effective but also less expensive. Some generics are not very much less than the original. Why?

Ezra said...

Why has it taken so long for the National MS Society to get behind this type of legislation? Maybe is has something to do with those multiple page drug ads in their magazine?
I have been administering weekly Avonex injections to my wife for more than 15 years now, all the while watching the price spiral upwards with no end in sight. Over the years, articles kept appearing in MS magazines about new treatments as all the various drug companies attempt to cash in on what amount to lifetime annuity payments to them from MS sufferers. Little mention of the costs was ever made in the articles. It's like it not polite to talk about how expensive these drugs are. We're just supposed to accept it and be grateful there is something to take.

The National MS Society should stay focused on basic medical research into a cure for MS, and stop accepting advertising money for painful, usurous annuity drugs. Put people with MS first, and stop pandering to drug companies!

Ezra said...

Why are MS drugs of any kind so expensive? Maybe it has something to do with the multi-page color ads placed by drug companies in the national MS magazine and the never ending stream of self serving literature we get in the mail from National and Local MS chapters. Most are invitations to come and hear about the latest treatments for MS. They generally turn out to be little more than a sales pitch for the newest expensive drug put out by BigPharma. New drug companies keep entering the market, but not because their drugs are any better. They just want to get in on those lifetime annuity payments from MS sufferers who have no choice but to pay whatever they charge or watch their lives disintegrate. That's why they are so expensive... there is no free market in MS medicine, generic or otherwise.

National MS needs to put the needs patients with MS first, focus on basic research for a cure, not just more expensive drugs, and stop pandering to drug companies!