House Oversight Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D, Calif) fired back at brand name drug industry critics of proposals to streamline approvals of generic biologics, charging that critics of the pending legislation are attempting to cloud the debate with misinformation. During a new round of congressional hearings on the proposed bills, Waxman argued that "the big brand name companies have gone beyond legitimate concern and have thrown up a defensive smoke screen around biologicals. They say there will be problems of safety, decreased innovation, and limited savings,"he said.
"A new path for FDA to approve generic biologicals will save patients billions in the future and will improve access to treatments and cures,"Waxman said. "For the sake of patients, their families, public and private health insurance, and taxpayers, we must find a way to introduce competition to this market. When a patent expires, we owe it to consumers to find a way, through competition, to lower prices and still deliver a safe and effective product," he added.