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by Leigh Purvis, Public Policy Institute, May 1, 2009
Spending on biologic drugs is growing nearly twice as quickly as spending on traditionally developed “small molecule” drugs. One factor in the increase in spending on biologics is the lack of a statutory pathway to approve generic, or bio-equivalent, biologic drugs.
Biologics are quickly becoming a common treatment option. Many of the new indications are for conditions that primarily affect older populations, such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. However, given the substantial out-of-pocket costs that can be associated with using biologic drugs, many patients will face impeded access until generic biologic drugs become available
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