Congressman Brindisi on Friday (October 11) announced new bipartisan legislation that he co-introduced, which he says would help bring down prescription drug costs and provide access to more treatment options for Americans.
Named the Acting to Cancel Copays and Ensure Substantial Savings for Biosimilars Act (ACCESS), the proposed legislation would eliminate a patient’s copay in cases where a more affordable, biosimilar medication can be used in place of drugs they would normally pay for under Medicare “Part B.”
Brindisi says the provisions would also drive down medical costs by increasing access to these lower-cost biosimilar drugs and give Americans more treatment options.
Like generic drugs, biosimilars offer a lower-cost opportunity to treat expensive and complex ailments like cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.
They’re widely considered as some of the most innovative physician-administered drugs and have even gotten approvals from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as being ‘as safe and effective’ as their biologic counterparts.
However, many of these alternative drugs are still not available to Americans.
“Every day I hear from Upstate New Yorkers who cannot afford the medication they need, and it is way past time for Democrats and Republicans to take action,” Brindisi said. “Our bill will eliminate out of pocket costs for millions of seniors. I am proud to work with Rep. Peters and Rep. King on this legislation to help increase competition and bring drug costs down for seniors and working families.”
More than 40 biosimilar products are already available in the various European Countries.
The Congressional Research Service reports that while less than 2 percent of Americans use biologics, they account for 40 percent of total spending on prescription drugs.
Friday’s co-announcement of the ACCESS Act was made alongside Reps. Scott Peters (CA-52) and Pete King (NY-02).