Barton and Eshoo Applaud new CMS Biosimilar Rule

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Washington, November 7, 2017 | comments

Barton and Eshoo Applaud new CMS Biosimilar Rule

Washington, D.C.: Last week, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a finalized 2018 Quality Payment Program and Physician Fee Schedule, which included a provision that modernizes the Medicare payment system to allow for greater competition and innovation for biosimilars. Biosimilars offer the potential for dramatic savings both to consumers and the Federal Government.

On May 5, Reps. Barton and Eshoo led a bipartisan letter along with 50 of their colleagues to then- Secretary Tom Price and CMS Administrator Seema Verna. In the letter, the lawmakers ask CMS to reevaluate each individual biosimilar and assign a unique combined code for payment and identification. Additionally, both lawmakers participated in an Energy and Commerce hearing in February 2016 to question CMS on biosimilar pricing. At the time, the agency opened the door to revisiting the topic soon.

Reps. Barton and Eshoo have long been champions of biosimilars. Their legislation, the Biosimilar Price and Competition Innovation Act (BPCIA) passed in 2009 and created an abbreviated approval pathway for biosimilars. Since then, they have continuously worked together to promote policies that support a vibrant biosimilar market capable of competing against innovative biologics.

“This new rule is a big win for patients. Greater competition in the biosimilar market will lead to further innovation at a reduced cost to those in need. I applaud Administrator Verna for complying with congressional intent and taking this important step forward,” stated Barton. 

“Since Rep. Barton and I first introduced the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act which was signed into law as part of the Affordable Care Act in 2009, it has been our goal for biosimilars to compete with innovative biologics to increase competition and lead to more options and lower prices for patients,” stated Eshoo. “The new rule by CMS will do just that and it is a big win for patients. I’m proud that our bipartisan work now ensures fair Medicare reimbursement policy for biosimilars.”
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