Michigan Governor Snyder Signs Bill Facilitating Patient Access to Interchangeable Biologic Medicines
Governor Snyder signed House Bill 4472 this week, following broad bipartisan support in both the Michigan Senate and House. The policies outlined in the bill align with BIO’s principles on biologic substitution and garnered our support. BIO and MichBio are grateful to the legislature, particularly Senator Mike Shirkey and the bill’s sponsor Representative John G. Bizon, MD, for their leadership on this issue.
“House Bill 4472 enjoys the support of physicians across Michigan and the country, patient groups, and both innovator biologic and biosimilar manufacturing companies. This bill includes provisions to ensure appropriate communication on all biologic medicines dispensed, in order to maintain a consistent and complete medical record,” said Jim Greenwood, BIO’s President and Chief Executive Officer. "By signing this bill into law, Governor Snyder has added Michigan to the list of states that allow retail pharmacies to substitute interchangeable biologic medicines."
While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees approval of biologic medicines and designation of interchangeability, policies governing whether one product may be substituted in place of a doctor's prescription and whether a pharmacist must inform patients and doctors are covered by state law. House Bill 4472 seeks to properly preserve patient access to accurate prescription information, maintain incentives for innovation and promote a competitive market for biologic therapies. BIO supports full communication in the substitution process, as patients and their physicians should know what biologic medicine the patient receives from the pharmacy.
“We’re pleased to see Michigan adopting policies that not only support a growing industry in our state, but more important, facilitate patient access to lower-cost, interchangeable therapies once approved as such by the FDA,” said MichBio President & CEO Dr. Stephen Rapundalo. “This important bill will provide patients more opportunities to address their medical needs, particularly severely ill patients who rely on complex biological treatments.”
While the FDA has approved biosimilar products for sale in the U.S., the agency continues to develop a pathway for the development and approval of safe and effective interchangeable biologic products. There also remains a major role for states to play in ensuring communication of substitution occurs and physicians remain engaged in the process.
Patients and physicians managing chronic conditions are generally aware of which biologic treatments work best in their unique circumstances. Communicating with patients and physicians about product substitution allows everyone involved the opportunity to discuss past treatment experiences, so that any possible unexpected issues can be better understood and properly addressed.
BIO is the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. BIO produces BIOtechNOW, an online portal and monthly newsletter chronicling “innovations transforming our world.” Subscribe to BIOtechNOW.
MichBio is the trade association committed to driving the growth of Michigan's biosciences industry and its many sectors by providing essential business services, resources and connections, information and news, promotion, and advocacy. MichBio members include bioscience companies, academic and clinical research institutions, bioscience service providers, and related organizations. For more information, visit www.michbio.org or follow us on Twitter @MichBio.
Source: Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO)