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Pa. gov signs biologics interchangeability bill


HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf last week signed a bill that will increase patient access to interchangeable biologic medicines. Wolf’s signing of Senate Bill 514 has earned him praise from both the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) and Pennsylvania Bio. 


“This bill includes provisions to ensure appropriate communication on all biologic medicines dispensed, in order to maintain a consistent and complete medical record,” Bio president and CEO Jim Greenwood said "By signing this bill into law, Governor Wolf has added Pennsylvania to the list of states that allow retail pharmacies to substitute interchangeable biologic medicines."


Although the Food and Drug Administration is in charge of vetting and approving biologic medicines and interchangeability designation, it’s up to the states to say whether one product may be substituted in place of a doctor’s prescription and whether a pharmacist must inform patients and doctors if they do so. BIO supports full communication in the substitution process to ensure patients and prescribers know what product the patient will receive. 


“We’re pleased to see Pennsylvania adopting policies that not only support a growing industry in our state, but more important, facilitate patient access to lower-cost, interchangeable therapies once approved as such by the FDA,” Pennsylvania Bio president and CEO Christopher Molineaux said. “This important bill will provide patients more opportunities to address their medical needs, particularly severely ill patients who rely on complex biological treatments.”


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