Several proposals in the PPACA as well as those being considered for future legislation will have a substantial impact on cancer drug prices. One such proposal in the PPACA facilitates the entry of generic competition for biological drugs (biologics). The complex nature of biologics means that generic versions are likely to be similar but not identical to the innovator drug – hence their classification as ‘biosimilars’. The introduction of biosimilars is particularly pertinent to oncology for two reasons. First, cancer therapies are set to dominate the biologics market. A report by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America suggests that 254 of the 633 biologic drugs under development in 2008 were antineoplastic agents . Second, cancer biologics often come with an eye-watering price tag, so increased competition in the market will have large effects.
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