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Consumer, Business and Labor Groups Endorse Bipartisan Senate Bill Authorizing Biogenerics
Date:3/26/2009

CCPM, AARP, and SEIU Applaud Senators for Introducing Legislation to Reduce Drug Costs for Patients, Expand Market Competition and Choice, and Provide Incentives for Biogeneric Innovation

WASHINGTON, March 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AARP, Coalition for a Competitive Pharmaceutical Market (CCPM), and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) are endorsing the Senate's bipartisan "Promoting Innovation and Access to Life Saving Medicine Act" introduced by Senators Schumer, Brown, Collins, Vitter, Stabenow, Shaheen and Martinez.

This landmark legislation builds on the success of the current Hatch-Waxman law by constraining cost growth, expanding competition and choice and providing needed incentives for innovation. We are pleased that this bill was also introduced by Chairman Waxman and Representatives Deal, Pallone, and Emerson.

"As the nation works to achieve needed reforms in our health care system, it is imperative that patients are able to reap the affordability and access benefit that biogeneric medications provide. The bill introduced today builds on the success of the Hatch-Waxman law and provides the appropriate balance between innovation and access," said CCPM Chair Annette Guarisco, Executive Director, Federal Affairs & Government Compliance, General Motors Corporation.

It is critical for the Senate to pass this legislation in a timely manner to ensure competition in the marketplace and increased access to more affordable biologics. In 2008 healthcare spending increased to $2.4 trillion in the United States; by 2011, biologics spending is likely to exceed $100 million.

"This bill will create a much needed pathway for the approval of affordable and safe biosimilar and interchangeable versions of biologic drugs, and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans. Our over 40 million members over the age of 50 are particularly grateful that this legislation also ensures adequate incentives for research and development of new therapies. This bipartisan bill is a win-win for private and public payers as well as consumers; we commend them for their leadership and their legislation," said AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond.

"Meaningful healthcare reform requires a mechanism to slow the exponentially increasing price of biologic drugs as more of these products enter the pharmaceutical pipeline. Addressing this issue today will ensure we can provide affordable coverage for the future," said Anthony Barrueta, CCPM Executive Board Member and Vice President, Government Relations for Kaiser Permanente.

"As America finally moves forward on the path to comprehensive healthcare reform, Senators Schumer, Brown, Collins, Vitter, Stabenow, Shaheen, and Martinez are helping pave the way toward constraining prescription drug costs. Working together, with a balanced and bipartisan approach, Congress found a way to make medicine more affordable and accessible to men and women who work for a living," said Andy Stern, President of the SEIU.

All these organizations (and the tens of millions of Americans represented, served or employed) look forward to working with Congress and the Obama Administration to make safe, effective and affordable biogenerics a reality for all consumers. We are thrilled that President Obama included a proposal in his recent budget that mirrors the approach being taken by the legislation we are endorsing today. This bill can and should be a key element of any attempt to constrain health care cost growth and improve overall quality in the health care system.


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SOURCE Coalition for a Competitive Pharmaceutical Market
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