For years now, many arthritis patients have utilized biologic medications to great effect. Biologics have allowed those with arthritis, as well as many other chronic diseases, to stabilize their condition and help them better quality lives. Now, due to innovation, new medications are coming to market which could provide arthritis patients with more, and potentially less expensive, options. These new medications are called “biosimilar” medications which are similar to, but not exact copies of name brand biologics.
The new law will restrict your pharmacist from substituting the biologic medication prescribed by your doctor with a new interchangeable biosimilar without notifying you and your doctor. Residents of Montana will have these important protections because on Wednesday February 23rd, Montana Governor Steve Bullock signed into law House Bill 233, which requires communication to the patient and physician when a biosimilar substitution occurs. This will result in a complete and accurate patient medical record, which is vital for monitoring these drugs once they come to market. And, if physicians do not want a substitution to occur, they can expressly state that the prescription be dispensed as written.
“Montana can stand proud of all those that worked diligently to bring this legislation forward,” said sponsor of the bill Representative Ron Ehli. “Because of these tremendous efforts, Montanans will now have access to the less expensive, cutting edge technology of interchangeable biologicals.”
Congratulations to the fantastic Advocates in Montana for their work on getting biosimilar substitution legislation signed into law and helping the residents of the state living with arthritis have greater access to all medications!
To send a thank you email to Governor Bullock, please click here.