Pharmaceutical Giants Battle with Legislatures Over Biologic Drugs

In state after state, makers of brand-name biologic drugs, led by the pharmaceutical giants Amgen and Genentech, have been unable to convince state legislatures to require pharmacists to notify doctors (and sometimes patients) when they substitute generics for brand-name drugs. Manufacturers of copies fiercely opposed such a requirement, which they said would put them at a competitive disadvantage.

Notification measures died in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, Mississippi, Nevada, Texas and Washington. Oregon, Utah and Virginia all adopted notification requirements, but with sunsetting provisions that will take effect before any of the knock-offs reach the market. 

Only one state, North Dakota, passed the measure the brand-name manufacturers sought. Read more

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