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Victory in New York! Biosimilar Legislation Signed Into Law

On behalf of the more than 3.6 million New Yorkers (including 18,400 children) with doctor-diagnosed arthritis, the Arthritis Foundation thanks Governor Andrew Cuomo for signing biosimilar legislation into law. The new law, A.7509/S.4788, enhances patient access to new and innovative medications while ensuring that pharmacists are communicating critical and up-to-date medical information about patients to physicians.

“This biosimilar bill will enhance communication between the pharmacists and doctors who will be on the same page as far as what medication is being filled,” said Kathy Wooten an Arthritis Foundation Platinum Ambassador, “therefore safeguarding the patient’s health and safety.”

As a result of this bill passage, pharmacist and physician communication will be required when a biologic substitution is made. This ensures that the physician knows exactly which medication the patient is taking to determine possible side effects and further allows the physician to closely monitor the care and progress of their patients.  Without this protection, it would be possible for a substitution to occur at the pharmacist level and the prescribing physician may not know if a patient is taking the biologic prescribed or another drug.

This legislation would not have succeeded without the hard work from the primary sponsors Assemblyman Richard N. Gottfried and Senator Kemp Hannon. We are extremely grateful to them and the entire Assembly and Senate for passing this bill unanimously.

This is a major victory for all of our Advocates that wrote letters, made calls, and attended the Legislative Day on May 15th.  Their efforts made an incredible difference and truly illustrate the effectiveness of advocacy.

You too can join the fight, either nationally or in your own stateJoin our advocate program today!

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