Media Advisory: Response to Amendments on Biologics

Published December 9, 2009

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is said to be interested in offering an amendment to the Senate health reform bill that would deny highly profitable biologic drugs a full 12-year period without competition from biosimilars.

Brown also has filed an amendment to impose a 75 percent discount on biologics for patients in the Medicare Part D “doughnut hole,” and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) filed a measure to prohibit certain clinical trials for biosimilars.

Dr. Richard Dolinar, a senior fellow for health care policy at The Heartland Institute and a practicing endocrinologist, addressed biologics in a Heartland Policy Study titled “Safety First: A Legislator’s Brief on Biosimilars.” That study is excerpted below and available online here:

Dolinar, an expert on biologics who has consulted for pharmaceutical companies, is available for interviews. He can be reached by email at [email protected], or contact The Heartland Institute’s media relations team, Dan Miller or Tammy Nash, at 312/377-4000 to arrange for an interview.

“If we expect the private sector to replant the seeds for tomorrow’s cures, we need to preserve a fertile investment environment that includes incentives for high-cost, high-risk research.

“The inescapable truth is this: Without renewed investment in research into new cures and novel
medications, there will soon be no novel biologics on which to base biosimilars.

“The future of biologic medicines depends upon preserving incentives for innovation. The hugely productive partnership between the biopharmaceutical industry and venture capital investment is at a crossroads.”