On Thursday, the Senate voted to confirm Stephen Hahn, MD, FASTRO, chief medical executive at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, as the 24th commissioner of the FDA.
Alberta became the most recent Canadian provincial government to mandate a nonmedical switch to biosimilars for certain patients on taxpayer-funded drug plans.
The Center for Biosimilars® recaps the top stories for the week of December 9, 2019.
The House of Representatives, on Thursday, voted 230-192 to pass Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s, D-California, HR 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, although the White House has already said it will veto the measure, assuming it is ever brought to the Senate floor and passes.
Given the availability of biosimilars of infliximab, etanercept, and adalimumab in multiple markets worldwide, and given the cost savings associated with the biosimilars, there is growing interest in switching patients receiving maintenance treatment for uveitis to these biosimilar options, but data in switching patients with uveitis have been limited.
During this week’s annual meeting of American Society of Hematology, researchers from Canada reported that using biosimilar filgrastim could result in substantial savings.
Organizations are releasing patient education materials about what biosimilars are, what questions patients should ask, and other things they might want to know. The latest such example comes from Susan G. Komen, which recently released a guide to using biosimilars and biologics for breast cancer.
AffaMed Therapeutics announced this week that it has received a Clinical Trial Application (CTA) approval from Chinese regulators to conduct a phase 3 clinical trial of Samsung Bioepis’ biosimilar trastuzumab, SB3.
An agreement on the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), a trade deal that updates the North American Free Trade Agreement, has been reached, and proponents of biosimilars and generics have cause to celebrate after the removal of provisions that some said would hinder competition.
Sanofi will retain its insulin business, but will otherwise stop research and development in diabetes and cardiovascular drugs in order to focus on cancer immunotherapies and its biologic for asthma and allergies.

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