July 29, 2009
To: The Editor, Washington Post
RE: Biotech Bottleneck
Your editorial, Biotech Bottleneck, doesn’t consider the many patients waiting for new therapies and cures, and the millions of older Americans who need safe medications. Your proposed biosimilars pathway is the least safe and the one most likely to destroy the pipeline to new treatments and cures that will save millions of lives and billions of dollars.
H.R 1548, by Congresswoman Eshoo, and over 130 of her House colleagues, provides the safety needed to protect seniors. It would also provide 12-year exclusivity to encourage the innovation to cure Alzheimer’s disease and other massive threats to seniors. We need cures, not drive-through biosimilars that could cause irreversible damage to the elderly.
Biosimilars are not “generic” pills, but rather they are living organisms “similar” to the original biologic. Generic pills are, for the most part, safe. Without the appropriate clinical trials, we cannot begin to assume that biosimilars are equally safe as the innovator drugs. Safety should always be put ahead of cost, and only H.R. 1548 ensures that outcome.
RetireSafe is a non-profit grassroots advocacy group representing 400,000 seniors across America.
Thair Phillips, President