Sherrod Brown opposes effort to shield 'biologic' drugs from generic market

Crain's Cleveland Business

The Wall Street Journal reports that brand-name drug companies "are fighting to weaken a provision of the health overhaul that was designed to open up generic competition in biotechnology medicines and save billions of dollars" -- a stance that is drawing opposition from U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown.

But other “key lawmakers” are backing the brand-name companies, The Journal says, “raising alarms among generics makers who hoped to enter a huge market previously blocked to them.

So-called “biologic" drugs, which are proteins manufactured in living cells, “account for some of the most lucrative products on the market and are increasingly used to treat difficult diseases such as cancer and rheumatoid arthritis,” the newspaper reports. Biologics can cost tens of thousands of dollars a year.

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