Published Online: Saturday, March 1, 2008

While US regulators and lawmakers continue to bargain over proposals to speed the introduction of cost-saving biosimilar drugs, their counterparts in the European Union (EU) are making significant strides to provide these new types of generics to patients on the Continent.

"The European Commission has already approved 5 biosimilar medicines, and regulators there announced late last year that as many as 16 new applications for approval of biosimilar medicines had been received by the end of 2007," officials at the European Generic Medicines Association (EGA) said.

The potential for savings to Europeans from biosimilars is enormous, the EGA added. "Generic medicines now on the market currently save the EU an estimated €20 billion each year," the association said.

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