Hospira calls time on US biogenerics delays

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

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Drug delivery specialist Hospira has set up a “biologics clock” that counts the amount spent on cell culture-derived medications in the US in a bid to highlight the potential savings greater use of generics could provide.

The clock, which sets the level of US spending at $1,331 (€999) per second based on IMS Health data, is designed to garner support for the biogenerics pathway bills currently being debated.

CEO Christopher Begley said that "We enthusiastically support legislation in Congress to make high-quality, safe and more affordable biogenerics available in this country​."

Hospira makes the point that while “biogenerics are widely available in Europe and other parts of the world…there is currently no legislative pathway allowing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve these safe, cost-effective alternatives.”

The firm, which claims to be the first US company to launch a biogeneric medicine in Europe, says “the introduction of biogenerics has led to price savings of 20 to 30 per cent in some markets,”​ based on its own analysis.

Hospira also cites data from a January Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report, which estimated that biogenerics could save the US government, including both Medicare and Medicaid, $12bn over 10 years.

So far this year $14.4bn has been spent on biologics in the US according to Hospira’s clock​.

Obama backs biogenerics

The firm’s support for effective legislation also fits well with the Obama administration’s contention that “the creation of an​approval pathway for follow-on biologics is a top priority​.”

Juliana Reed, VP of government affairs for Hospira, told the North Carolina based Rocky Mountain Telegram ​newspaper that: “President Obama has talked about the need to bring biogenerics to consumers in the US during his campaign​.”

Reed went on to say that the Democratic party that have control of the House and the Senate, are in favour of biogenerics and predicted that the bill could be passed in July.

If the bill is passed Hospira would be one of the firms best positioned to benefit from the biogenerics market.

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