More Must be Done to Improve Access to Biosimilar Drugs

This article originally appeared at The Hill. Click here to read the full story.

By Ike Brannon

Drug costs represent a large and growing share of health care costs and for good reason: Developing a new drug and proving it safe and effective is more expensive than ever before, and the cutting-edge drugs of late have proven to be incredibly effective, creating an extraordinary demand for them.

But the other reason for their high prices is that these blockbuster drugs have faced little competition. That may be about to change, as last week the FDA approved the first biosimilar drug for sale in the United States.  While it is a welcome development, unless the FDA takes further action this approval will represent little more than a minor victory for drug users as well as the taxpayers who fund government insurance programs and the policyholders paying private insurance premiums who bear most of the drug costs in this country.