The Plain Dealer reports:
Sen. Sherrod Brown joined a bipartisan crowd of U.S. senators today to announce a legislative compromise that would pave the way for the Food and Drug Administration to allow generic versions of biologic drugs that are produced from living cell cultures instead of chemicals.
The senators said the FDA currently lacks the authority to approve generic forms of those drugs. The legislation Brown introduced with Sens. Charles Schumer (D-NY), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Susan Collins (R-ME), David Vitter (R-LA) and Mel Martinez (R-FL) would set up an FDA approval procedure. A bipartisan House of Representatives’ counterpart of the bill has been introduced by Democrat Henry Waxman of California and Republican Nathan Deal of Georgia.
“We have seen what competition in the marketplace means,” said Brown. “Generic drugs can save consumers hundreds of dollars a year . There’s simply no reason we can’t introduce the same kind of competition into a segment of the health care market where there hasn’t been that kind of competition.”