On July 1, 2021, 28 patient advocacy groups submitted a letter demonstrating their support for H.R. 2815, also known as the Bolstering Innovative Options to Save Immediately on Medicines (BIOSIM) Act, which aims to increase Medicare reimbursement for health systems that prescribe biosimilars to patients. The legislation was introduced on April 22, 2021, with the purpose of increasing Medicare payments for biosimilars for a 5-year period.
The letter endorses the act’s mechanism of temporarily increasing reimbursement for biosimilars from average sales price (ASP) plus 6% to ASP plus 8% where the biosimilar price is lower than the reference product price. The patient advocacy groups, which include the 60 Plus Association, the Allergy & Asthma Network, CancerCare, and the Rheumatology Nurses Society, view the act as a way of fixing the “misaligned financial incentives within the Medicare program [that] continue to encourage the use of high-cost brand biologics even when a lower-cost biosimilar medicine is available.”1
In addition, the patient advocacy groups wrote1:
“According to a recent analysis, women, seniors, and low-income individuals are expected to benefit most from increased access to biosimilars, as they are predominantly impacted by the conditions currently treated by higher-cost biologics for which biosimilar competition can reduce costs. However, despite average cost savings of 30%, biosimilar adoption continues to trail expectations.”
The letter comes after the Biosimilars Forum and the Biosimilars Council also expressed their endorsement of the act.
“Biosimilar medicines hold enormous potential to lower the cost of prescription drugs but face significant barriers to adoption. Congressional action on innovative solutions, like the BIOSIM Act, is critical to reducing costs and improving patient access to biosimilars in the U.S.,” the advocacy groups stated.1
- 60 Plus Association, Advocacy & Awareness for Immune Disorders Association, Allergy & Asthma Network, et al. Joint letter to Congressman Schrader and Congressman Kinzinger. July 1, 2021. https://biosimilarsforum.org/wp-content/uploads/letter_of_support_for_the_biosim_act.pdf. Accessed October 20, 2021.