2 Bipartisan Cassidy Bills Head to President’s Desk

Bill Cassidy
Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, March 3, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON – Two pieces of bipartisan legislation, the Advancing Education on Biosimilars Act and the Ensuring Innovation Act, introduced by U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-La.) passed the U.S. House of Representatives and now head to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law. 

“Passing these bills in Congress has the potential to lower prescription costs for patients, but also for taxpayers, because taxpayers pay a lot of the bill too,” said Dr. Cassidy. “The Advancing Education on Biosimilars Act improves awareness for the doctor, and the patient, that these drugs are effective and they’re less expensive. They’re good for your health. They’re good for your wallet. It’s a good piece of legislation.”

The Advancing Education on Biosimilars Act, introduced by Senators Cassidy and Maggie Hassan (D-NH), aims to enhance education about biosimilar drug products in an effort to increase competition and lower the cost of biologic medicines. “Biologics” are medications created using sugars, proteins or DNA. A “biosimilar” is a biologic medicine that’s “highly similar” to another approved biological medicine. 

“Biosimilar alternatives can help save lives and lower health care costs, but currently many doctors and patients in New Hampshire and across the country are in the dark about this affordable option,” said Senator Hassan. “I am glad that both chambers have passed our bipartisan legislation to improve education about biosimilar products, and I urge the President to sign this important legislation into law.”

The Ensuring Innovation Act, introduced by Cassidy and U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-MN) and Roger Marshall (R-KS), aims to provide clarity for drug exclusivity to prevent awarding market exclusivity to products that do not represent true innovation and unduly delay cheaper generics from entering the market.

“We need to stand up for Americans who are struggling to afford life-saving prescription drugs. This is especially important as we navigate the public health and economic crisis of COVID-19,” said Smith. “The House passage of our bipartisan Ensuring Innovation Act is important progress in the fight to make medications more effective and drive down costs for consumers. The next step is for President Biden to sign this into law.” 

“As a physician, and now a U.S. Senator, I believe innovation and competition can have a profound impact on driving down the cost of health care,” said Marshall. “The current regulatory landscape unnecessarily delays patient access to FDA-approved generics. Our bipartisan legislation ensures affordable life-saving medicine while preserving innovation for cutting-edge medicine, and I’m pleased we are one step closer to this becoming law.”

 

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