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No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
No fiscal implication to units of local government is anticipated.
Chapter 562 of the Occupations Code currently requires patients to be notified by a pharmacist when there are less expensive generically equivalent drug products that can be used in lieu of more expensive brand name drugs. This legislation would expand chapter 562 by authorizing interchangeable biological products, also known as bio-similars, to be substituted for higher-priced brand name biological products prescribed by practitioners. Biological products, also referred to as biologics, and bio-similars would be subject to the same dispensing directives that are currently practiced by pharmacists substituting generic drugs for prescribed brand name drugs.
A similar senate bill (SB 190) was filed in the 83rd Legislative Session. It successfully passed the Senate but was not voted on by the House.
Requiring a pharmacist to inform a patient there is a less expensive biologic alternative available fosters a transparent relationship and reduces adverse selection between a pharmacist and patient. This is similar to rules requiring pharmacists to disclose generic alternatives when available. Expanding the types of biologics available for dispensation by pharmacists will ultimately save patients money. Increasing product choices for patients promotes our free market and individual liberty principles. We support SB 542.