06.26.08

ENZI: BUDGET ESTIMATE CONFIRMS BIOSIMILAR BILL WILL REDUCE LONG TERM PRESCRIPTION DRUG COSTS URGES HOUSE TO ACT, EXPAND ACCESS TO LIFE-SAVING DRUGS

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), Ranking Member ofthe Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today said budgetestimates confirm that HELP Committee legislation to allow the Food and DrugAdministration (FDA) to approve biosimilar therapeutics in an expedited way wouldproduce significant reductions in prescription drug costs over the next 10 years. “This budget score confirms that our biosimilar therapeutics bill will saveAmericans billions of dollars in prescription drug costs,” Enzi said. “Our bill preservesincentives to develop new, life-saving therapies. Most importantly, we protect patientsafety every step of the way.” Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said, “Biologics are the future of medicine, and S.1695 ensures that we will continue to lead the world in biotechnology. The savingsoutlined in the CBO cost estimate underscores the absolute need to pass S. 1695. It isessential that the Congress consider this important legislation before adjourning for theyear.” The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a cost estimate yesterday of the“Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2007,” S. 1695, which the HELPCommittee approved last year. CBO estimates that, if Congress enacts S. 1695,Americans will save approximately $25 billion on prescription drug costs over the next10 years. The full CBO report is available at http://cbo.gov/ftpdocs/94xx/doc9496/s1695.pdf. “The Senate has put forth bipartisan, consensus legislation that will reduce costs,promote innovation, and protect patient safety,” Enzi said. “If the Leadership of theHouse is serious about controlling long-term health costs, they will take steps to pass thislegislation soon, not wait until the next Congress.” Biologics are protein-based, highly-engineered drugs that mimic key biochemicalreactions in living cells. Biologics in common use today include: Humulin, a replacementinsulin for diabetics; Procrit, an anemia treatment for cancer patients; and Avonex, atherapy for persons with Multiple Sclerosis. “Biologics already are making it possible for thousands of Americans to liveproductive lives and changing the way we treat deadly diseases like cancer and infectiousdiseases. Our bill holds new hope that we can further expand access of these remarkablemedicines to more patients who need help combating deadly diseases. This bill is animportant step to ensuring our aging population has access to innovative, affordable, andsafe medicines.” The “Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act” was introduced by SenatorEnzi, Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Chairman of the HELP Committee, Senator OrrinHatch (R-UT), and Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY). ####

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