Ill. legislature defeats biosimilar bill

WASHINGTON — Another bill to limit dispensing of biosimilars lost Monday, this time in Illinois.

The state's legislature voted not to advance S.B. 1934, supported by such biotech companies as Amgen and Genentech, which would slow patients' access to knock-off versions of biotech drugs by restricting pharmacists' ability to dispense them. Illinois is the 13th state to defeat such a bill; a similar bill died in Texas' state legislature last week.

"In state after state, proposed restrictions on access to biosimilars are just additional layers of red tape and road blocks," said Ralph Neas, president and CEO of the Generic Pharmaceutical Association, a generics industry trade group. "Legislators have recognized that these provisions are thinly veiled attempts by Amgen and Genentech to ward off competition."