CSRO Spurs Great Progress for Biosimilars
July 1, 2015 - This session has been a great year for progress on biosimilars legislation, with eight states enacting laws regulating biosimilar substitution. Specifically the laws address allowing physicians to write “Dispense as Written” on a prescription to prevent substitution, only substituting FDA designated interchangeable biosimilars, and requiring a pharmacist to communicate any substitution to the physician within five days.
With these eight new states enacting laws, the total number of states with biosimilars usage as part of their pharmacy laws is now at 15. Two more states – Illinois and New Jersey – all have bills in the final stage at their respective governors’ desks, which will likely all be signed into law. Another five states currently remain in play during this legislative session.
CSRO and individual rheumatology state society members have been instrumental in passing legislation this year. CSRO has sent in letters on more than 25 different pieces of legislation to legislatures, committees, and governors across the country. In addition, physicians who responded to the calls to action and who testified before the legislature were critical in pushing the bills forward in Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington State.
Five states (Hawaii, Maryland, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Vermont) did see legislation stall this year. Two additional states (Oregon and Virginia) also failed to pass extensions to their physician notification provisions, which unfortunately leaves gaps in patient safety in these states.
The overall trend for biosimilars was quite positive and the growing success continues to build momentum for the inclusion of biosimilars in pharmacies across the country.