SALT LAKE CITY — A local lawmaker’s push to help facilitate the introduction of biosimilar drugs to the Utah market has cleared a key committee hurdle.
SB 78, sponsored by Sen. Stuart Adams, R-Layton, received a favorable recommendation in a Senate committee Wednesday and now advances to the Senate for further review.
Biosimilar drugs are popular in Europe and contain an active drug substance made by a living organism or are derived from a living organism by means of controlled gene-expression methods.
Adam’s bill would allow a pharmacist to substitute a biosimilar in the place of a prescribed biologic product and had notification requirements as well.
A number of drug company representatives spoke against the measure. Paul Rogers, of the Generic Pharmaceutical Association, wondered if the bill was aimed at getting local doctors to use the more expensive drugs.
“Why are we doing this? One or two manufacturers believe they might make a lot more money, but in the end, Utahns are asking you to get a better buy,” he said.
Sen. Brian Shiozawa, R-Cottonwood Heights, supported the measure.
“It seems like all you guys agree biosimilars are coming,” said Shiozawa, a doctor. “The question is whether there should be notification or not.”