Sunday, March 15, 2009

Cheaper Copies of Biotech Meds?

From Reuters: US lawmakers propose generic biotech drug plan
U.S. lawmakers unveiled a bipartisan proposal on Wednesday to allow government approval for cheaper copies of biotechnology medicines that cost as much as tens of thousands of dollars per year.

Representative Henry Waxman, joined by a Democratic colleague and two Republicans, said biotech drugs were the fastest-growing and most expensive part of the nation's prescription drug bill. Generic versions could provide safe alternatives while saving money for patients, employers, insurers and the federal government, the lawmakers said.

If the measure becomes law, it would open a vast new market for generic drugmakers such as Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (TEVA.TA) and Mylan Inc (MYL.O) and lead to competition for brand-name biotechnology companies.

Biotech drugs, or biologics, are man-made forms of human proteins and tougher to produce than traditional medicines....


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