BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD)- When getting a prescription, there may be other FDA-approved drugs out there that do the same thing but cost much less.
A bill proposed by U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy will help doctors become more aware of those alternatives. The Advancing Education on Biosimilars Act will help people find medicines they need but for a cheaper price than the name brands.
“If a patient with psoriasis has seen a drug for Humera, which has been off patent for years now but is still commanding top dollar for the prescription price, she may say I would like that medicine which helps my psoriasis, yet there is an alternative,” Senator Cassidy said.
Senator Cassidy partnered with Democrat Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire on the bill because he said affordable medications is a nonpartisan issue. The bill will help doctors learn about drugs that are similar and affordable.
“We need the doctor and the patient to know about it to ask for it… it’s a push back on the tv advertisement which promotes the most expensive to make people aware that it is less expensive,” Senator Cassidy said.
The hope is this will increase competition for some drugs and bring the cost of prescriptions down. It’ll also increase confidence in FDA-approved products to remind patients they don’t have to go with the recognizable and pricier drug. It is estimated to save Americans $54 billion over the next 10 years.
“If we can decrease the amount we are spending for drugs that have been off patent for a decade, that saves those dollars for something else. maybe to decrease the deficit maybe to otherwise help medicare,” Senator Cassidy said.
The bill has been approved by the house and senate, now it heads to President Joe Biden’s desk where he is expected to sign it into law next week.