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California Preparing for Biosimilar Drugs


A bill making its way through the California legislature would allow pharmacists to substitute biosimilar drugs for name brand biologics. But it would require the pharmacist to notify the prescribing physician.

Democratic Assemblyman Kevin Mullin said the bill ensures consumer protection and patient safety.

“Biosimilars are, and will continue to be, a growing part of California’s medical future,” he said. “I believe this bill gets ahead of the growth of these drugs and how to manage these life saving and innovative medicines.”

But critics say the added step of requiring physician notification will prevent many pharmacists from making the substitutions. They contend such barriers are supported by drug companies which could lose money when less expensive versions of their medicines become available.  

The bill has passed the Assembly and now returns to the Seante for a final vote before being sent to the governor's desk. 

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