Three categories of stakeholders typically support state biosimilar
legislation: biologic manufacturers, patient advocacy groups, and physicians
who treat patients with diseases that biologics treat.
83 Biologic drug
companies have an interest in protecting their market share and preventing
biosimilars from competing with their own products.
84 Patient advocacy
groups that support restrictive biosimilar legislation have been criticized as
holding views “often closely aligned with those of the drug industry.”
Physicians generally support state laws on biosimilars.
86 However well
intentioned, physicians with patients on biologics may not necessarily speak
for their patients or have interests that align with their patients’ concerns.
Louisiana’s biosimilar legislation87 provides an illustrative example of the
way biosimilar legislation proponents may not always be patient-friendly. In
2015, Representative Scott Simon, Chairman of the Health and Welfare
Committee, introduced House Bill 319 (HB 319) during the Louisiana
legislature’s regular session.
88 The bill sought to amend certain laws “relative
to interchangeable biological products; to provide for definitions; to provide
for licensure penalties; to require certain information to be sent to a
prescriber; and to provide for related matters.”
89 HB 319 was supported by
the Coalition of State Rheumatology Organizations,
90 the Louisiana
91 and GHLF, which “represents more than 80,000
chronically ill patients.”
92 LouisianaBio, the Louisiana chapter of the
Biotechnology Industry Organization, an international trade organization
representing biotech companies and involved in passing numerous state
biosimilar bills, wrote a letter to the editor of The Advocate, a Baton Rouge
newspaper, supporting HB 319.93 The bill’s supporters echoed a consistent
83. Jeff Evans, State Laws, Regulatory Concerns Complicate Biosimilars Landscape,
RHEUMATOLOGY NEWS (Nov. 23, 2015),
84. Purvis, supra note 80, at 1–2.
86. Evans, supra note 83.
87. Interchangeable Biological Products Act, H. B. No. 319, 41st Reg. Sess. 391 (La.
90. Press Release, Coal. of State Rheumatology Orgs., Biosimilars Legislation Enacted
in Louisiana (July 6, 2015), http://csro.info/app/document/8431393.
91. Support Louisiana HB 319 Legislation, LA. ONCOLOGY SOC’Y,
https://www.laoncologysociety.org/support-louisiana-hb-319-legislation/ (last visited Apr. 9,
92. Letter from Seth Ginsberg, President, Glob. Health Living Found., to Louisiana
House of Representatives (May 19, 2015), https://www.50statenetwork.org/wp-l