Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia and Governor Bill Haslam of Tennessee have both signed biosimilar legislation into law. Arthritis Foundation Advocates actively lobbied for both bills, meeting with legislators, testifying at hearings, writing letters, making phone calls and working to put patient safety issues associated with biosimilars in front of the media.
The legislation will allow biosimilar medicines to be marketed in these states. The new laws also require notifying patients and prescribers when biosimilars are dispensed instead of biologics. Biologics have been vital for people with arthritis – increasing mobility, reducing pain and improving overall quality of life.
Arthritis Foundation Ambassador Kerry Tucker testified in support of the bill in Georgia. See her testimony at this link. Ambassador Kelly Rach in Tennessee wrote an op-ed in the Chattanoogan about the importance of physician-patient communication when biosimilars are prescribed.
On Monday, May 11, Dr. Harry Gewanter, a pediatric rheumatologist from Richmond, Virginia, and Mark Guimond, Director of State Legislative Affairs presented an overview on biosimilars and state legislation pending on this issue. View the presentation.
You will need an ARF player to view the Webex – download the player.