-- Urges Quick Passage By Congress --
LAKE FOREST, Ill., March 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Hospira, Inc. (NYSE: HSP), the world leader in generic injectable pharmaceuticals, announced today its enthusiastic support for the biogenerics bill co-sponsored by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Ga., and urges quick passage by Waxman's committee and the full Congress.
"The approval of biogenerics legislation would provide Americans access to more affordable biologic drugs and save the healthcare system billions of dollars," said Christopher Begley, chairman and chief executive officer, Hospira. "We look forward to working with Congress and the Obama administration to pass biogenerics legislation in 2009."
The Senate is expected to introduce similar legislation soon.
Although biogeneric drugs - generic versions of currently marketed biopharmaceuticals - are widely available in Europe and other parts of the world, they are not sold in the United States. The bipartisan bill introduced Wednesday, titled the "Promoting Innovation and Access to Life-Saving Medicine Act," would create a legislative pathway allowing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve safe and effective biogenerics to compete with existing biologic drugs, some of which currently cost more than $100,000 a year per patient. In Europe, biogeneric drugs have been shown to lower costs by around 20 percent.
The new legislation, like the original 1984 Hatch-Waxman legislation that provided access to safe and affordable generic drugs, would allow innovator companies - those that originally introduced biologic drugs - a five-year data exclusivity period for their products during which generic companies would not compete. Five years of exclusivity protects innovator companies' original investments in their products, and also enables relatively quick access to affordable generic substitutions.
Estimates for savings from biogeneric drugs range from $12 billion over 10 years by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)(1), which assumed a 12-year exclusivity period and focused on savings to the U.S. government alone, to $378 billion over 20 years(2) from noted economist Robert J. Shapiro, who looked at potential savings to U.S. society in general.
Hospira is the only U.S. company selling a biogeneric drug in Europe today. Hospira's Retacrit(R) (epoetin zeta), a treatment for anemia associated with chronic kidney failure and chemotherapy-induced anemia, is available in more than a dozen European countries.
(1) FDA Week, "CBO Nearly Doubles Estimated Savings From Generic Biologics;" Dec. 26, 2008 (2) Insmed, Inc., "Study By Leading Economist Identifies Potential for $378 Billion of Savings From Follow On Biologics;" Feb. 11, 2008
Hospira, Inc. is a global specialty pharmaceutical and medication delivery company dedicated to Advancing Wellness(TM). As the world leader in specialty generic injectable pharmaceuticals, Hospira offers one of the broadest portfolios of generic acute-care and oncology injectables, as well as integrated infusion therapy and medication management solutions. Through its products, Hospira helps improve the safety, cost and productivity of patient care. The company is headquartered in Lake Forest, Ill., and has more than 14,000 employees. Learn more at www.hospira.com.
|SOURCE Hospira, Inc.|
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