Insurance groups, businesses and consumers are all praising legislation approved last week by the Senate aimed at improving access to generic drugs.
The legislation, S. 812, allows the Food and Drug Administration to accelerate approval for generic drug applications. It also eases the rules by which a generic drug is listed as a “bioequivalent” to a listed, non-generic drug.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., was approved by the Senate on July 17 by unanimous consent.
The Blue CrossBlue Shield Association, Washington, issued a statement supporting the legislation, calling it a “critical first step in our nations efforts to rein in rising health care costs.”
S. 812, Blue Cross says, would increase the number of health care choices available to consumers, with the potential for saving them billions of dollars on prescription drug costs over the next few years.
While Blue Cross says it has been actively encouraging the wider use of generic drugs, these efforts alone are not enough.