Bipartisan Legislation Introduced to Increase Access to Biosimilars in Medicare Plans

On April 26, Representatives Paul D. Tonko (D-NY) and Bob Gibbs (R-OH) introduced the Star Rating for Biosimilars Act.  The proposed legislation would direct the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to evaluate Medicare plans based on whether or not cost-saving biosimilars are available to enrollees and to evaluate Medicare Advantage and Part D plans on access to biosimilar drugs.  The proposed legislation is designed to help motivate Medicare plans to improve performance and access to biosimilars.  In a press release Representative Tonko said: “My bill shines a spotlight on existing barriers in current health plans, provides meaningful transparency where plans fall short, and allows for reform to unlock the billions in savings for patients and taxpayers. No family should have to choose between paying their prescription or putting food on the table. It’s past time Congress act to make these lifesaving treatments more accessible to all.”

The Star Rating for Biosimilars Act has been referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Committee on Ways and Means for consideration.