Minnesota’s SF 990 Bill Would Promote Increased Access to Biosimilars

Date: March 9, 2021 | Country: UNITED STATES | Region: NORTH AMERICA | Type: Biosimilar | Keywords: #access #affordability #biologic #essentiahealth #mayoclinic #pbm #pharmacy #policy 
#prescriptiondrug #sf990

PRICENTRIC BRIEF:

  • Minnesota State Representative Jennifer Schultz and State Senator Carla Nelson’s recently introduced bill SF 990 aims to increase the availability of “lower-priced, non-name brand versions of common biologic prescription drugs”—or, biosimilars—to Minnesotans
  • SF 990 would require health plans and pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs) operating within the state to cover all biosimilar versions of branded biologics, providing patients access to the most affordable and effective version of their prescription medication
  • The bill came into fruition with assistance from Essentia Health and the Mayo Clinic, which helped identify promoting biosimilars as the most “powerful tool” to leverage to control prescription drug costs, according to Eric Tichy, Vice Chair, Mayo Clinical Pharmacy Supply Solutions

 

THE DETAILS

ST. PAUL, MN, United States – Minnesota State Representative Jennifer Schultz and State Senator Carla Nelson’s recently introduced bill SF 990 aims to increase the availability of “lower-priced, non-name brand versions of common biologic prescription drugs”—or, biosimilars—to Minnesotans.

SF 990 would require health plans and pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs) operating within the state to cover all biosimilar versions of branded biologics, providing patients access to the most affordable and effective version of their prescription medication.

The bill came into fruition with assistance from Essentia Health and the Mayo Clinic, which helped identified promoting the use of biosimilars as a way to ensure greater prescription drug affordability.

Schultz and Nelson noted that biological medications account for around 40% of all prescription drug spending in the United States, and biosimilars, which are “just as safe and effective as their brand counterparts,” according to Eric Tichy, Vice Chair, Mayo Clinical Pharmacy Supply Solutions, who dubbed biosimilars the most “powerful tool” to leverage to control prescription drug costs.

Chief author of SF 990, Representative Schultz said, “As prescription drug prices continue to skyrocket, more Minnesotans become worried about how they will afford the medications they need to live healthy lives. I’m proud of the work we’ve done in identifying this solution – in partnership with research scientists at Essentia Health and Mayo Clinic – which will help lower drug costs for Minnesotans and give health care systems the flexibility they need to negotiate lower prices for biosimilars.”

Senator Nelson added, “We can quickly make a big dent in the sky-high cost of health care simply by expanding access to the much more affordable and safe biosimilar versions of biologic prescription drugs. Minnesota is fortunate to have groundbreaking leaders like Mayo Clinic and Essentia Health innovating in this area. Biosimilars could save families hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars per month. Coverage for lower cost biosimilars is a must-do.”

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