by Amanda Conschafter, Blog Editor
Indiana Governor Mike Pence this week signed Senate Bill 262, a bill on biosimilar drugs that allows substitution if certain conditions are met. The new law deals with complex issues related to biologics and biosimilars and creates a policy path that will serve to improve patient safety.
In a recent health policy brief, the Institute for Patient Access identified several provisions for safe biosimilar substitution, most notably physician notification of any substitution. Transparent communication that requires a pharmacist to inform the physician and the patient of any substitution to the physician’s prescribed medication will allow for better treatment decisions.
Physicians should have the right to know what, if any, medication has been substituted at a pharmacy for their patients. This gives physicians the ability to make appropriate choices for treatment decisions when using biologics or biosimilars to manage what are often complex conditions such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, or cancer. State-level policies such as Indiana’s that work to balance access, safety and cost are a necessary step in governing biosimilar substitution.