Policies & Legislation
On 17 June 2021, the US Supreme Court ruled to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Obamacare. This ensures the current pathway for biosimilars to reach the US market will be maintained which will provide access to cheaper versions of expensive biological therapies.
The project known as the Medicines Law 2, led by a Joint Commission, seeks to settle discrepancies between senators and deputies regarding the sale of bioequivalent and generic medicines in Chile. The project, which is in its third stage, amends the Health Code to regulate generic drugs in order to prevent the vertical integration of pharmaceutical companies and pharmacies. In this way, it seeks to solve some pending issues left by the current drug legislation.
US President Joe Biden has signed the Advancing Education on Biosimilars Act of 2021, authorizing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to educate patients and healthcare providers about the benefits of biosimilars. This follows the reintroduction of the Bolstering Innovative Option to Save Immediately on Medicines Act (BIOSIM Act), which will increase reimbursement for biosimilar drugs.
In March 2021, the European Commission opened a formal investigation into alleged anti-competitive – ‘pay-for-delay’ – conduct, by the Israeli generics giant Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (Teva).
Health regulatory authorities in the European Union (EU) and Brazil entered a partnership to ensure mutual recognition and regulatory harmonization to improve human and animal health.
In the opening months of 2021, a bill was proposed to make more biosimilars accessible to a greater proportion of the US state of Minnesota’s residents. In addition, a bill was passed in Wisconsin that will give pharmacists the ability to recommend cheaper drug options. And, in the Philippines, a bill has been filed to encourage the use of biosimilar drug products.
On 25 April 2021, Danish drug company Lundbeck and four generic drugmakers lost their appeal against European Union antitrust fines of Euros 146 million (US$172 million), imposed in 2013.
In 2019, a law was passed in the US state of Colorado to allow the import of prescription drugs from Canada. A bill to expand drug imports, and include those from additional nations, cleared at House committee on 7 April 2021. This hopes to see imports from additional countries like Australia, France and Japan.
On 21 January 2021 and following appeal, the US Federal Court again found that the patent held by The Kennedy Trust for Rheumatology Research regarding the use of infliximab (Janssen’s Renicade) is valid and infringed by Hospira’s biosimilar, Inflectra.
In early 2021, implied preemption related to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938 (FDCA or the Act) has prevented generics manufacturer Teva Pharmaceuticals (Teva) from being held liable for three different failure-to-warn theories.