December 16, 2021
Media contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, firstname.lastname@example.org or (412) 945-3242
Washington, DC—The National Consumers League (NCL) is pleased to support the Increasing Access to Biosimilars Act (S. 1427), as introduced by Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and John Cornyn (R-TX). This Act directs the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to launch a pilot program that increases Medicare payments for providers who use biosimilars. Representative Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) introduced a similar bill (H.R. 2869) in the House of Representatives.
Since 2014, the growth in pharmaceutical spending has been primarily driven by increased spending on biologic drugs. Biosimilars demonstrate no clinically meaningful differences in terms of safety, purity, and potency against their FDA-approved biologic counterpart, and are generally 15 percent to 35 percent lower in price. Therefore, biosimilars pose great potential to reduce health care costs.
The Increasing Access to Biosimilars Act would create a new pilot program administered by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) that aims to encourage physicians to prescribe less expensive biosimilars through shared savings. Shared savings is a payment strategy that offers providers a percentage of any net savings generated in order to reduce health care spending overall.
The following statement can be attributed to NCL’s Health Policy Director Jeanette Contreras:
“This legislation would not only broaden access to cost-saving biosimilars and reduce unnecessary spending on costly biologics, but it could also foster greater competition. In addition, it signals to future participants the viability of the biosimilars market, which is a win for consumers.
NCL believes that well-aligned payment incentives can steer providers toward cost-saving behavior with the overall objective of reducing Medicare expenditures. We strongly urge Congress to pass the Increasing Access to Biosimilars Act as the FDA continues to approve new biosimilars to market at increasing rates.”
About the National Consumers League
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.