Researchers for Barr Pharmaceuticals are beavering away at developing copycat biotech drugs at a research facility in Croatia as the generics business gears up for what it sees as an inevitable move to create a regulatory pathway for follow-on biologics in the U.S. The biotech industry has fiercely resisted biogenerics, insisting that any copycats would have to be thoroughly--and expensively--studied in order to be safe. But as The Wall Street Journal notes, the steadily rising amount of money being spent on biotech drugs makes this a hot issue for lawmakers. Express Scripts says that a bill paving the way to generic biotech therapies would save the U.S. alone $71 billion over 10 years, the bulk of that tied to Amgen's Epogen, a therapy for anemia, and the similar Procrit. The federal government spent $2 billion on Procrit in 2005.
- read the trend report from The Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)
ALSO: Morgan Stanley's Dr. Steven Harr has played an influential role in advising against high biotech drug prices. Report
PLUS: Lake Forest, IL-based Hospira is lobbying for the biogeneric bill in Washington. Report