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Policies & Legislation

Physicians urge CMS to adopt unique billing codes for biosimilars

On 11 September 2017, groups representing physicians in the US commented on the biosimilar reimbursement policy of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The six groups, which represent a broad spectrum of physicians who prescribe biologicals, have urged the CMS to revise its policy of assigning a single code to all biosimilars. Instead they urge the CMS to adopt unique Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) billing codes, otherwise known as J‑Codes.

Application fees increase for prescription drugs

US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) application fees for prescription drug approvals are to increase by almost 20% for FY2018, beginning from October 2017. Biosimilar user fees however will decrease.

Ireland consults on National Biosimilar Medicines Policy

Ireland’s Department of Health (DoH) has begun a consultation on its biosimilars policy amid criticism from the country’s pharma industry.

FDA user fee reauthorization bill passes US House of Representatives

The US House of Representatives passed a bill on 12 July 2017 reauthorizing the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) prescription drug, generic drug, biosimilar and medical device user fee programmes.

US states progress drug-pricing legislation

With attention being increasingly focussed on the price of drugs in the US, and with federal action on drug prices and cost transparency having stalled in Congress, several states have moved forward with their own legislation.

Quebec hopes to save millions by tendering for generics

The Health Ministry in Quebec, Canada is launching a tender process for generics in an attempt to save millions of dollars. It is hoped that the new system will make medication cheaper for patients and save taxpayers CA$300 million per year.

EMA launches new EudraVigilance system for adverse reactions

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced that it will launch a ‘new and improved version of EudraVigilance’ in November 2017, which will contain enhancements for reporting and analysing suspected adverse reactions.

US Senate revives the CREATES Act

The US Senate and House Judiciary Committees have reintroduced legislation to tackle anticompetitive behaviour that delays the market entry of more affordable generic drugs. 

Notice can be given before FDA approves biosimilar

In a landmark decision by the US Supreme Court, biosimilars makers will be able to give notice to the originator manufacturer before the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given final approval of the biosimilar.

Generics association recommends FDA regulation changes

The Association for Accessible Medicines (AAM) has recommended five changes to US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation, including allowing abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) sponsors the same rights as those for non-generic drugs.

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