Senate Bill 598 will protect patients

Published: Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013 - 8:09 am

Re "When Big Pharma comes to town, drug costs tend to rise" (Dan Morain, Sept. 29): The path to medical progress is filled with both successes and failures. The weaknesses of some treatments are only revealed over time as additional patient data accumulates.

The projected savings from the use of bio-similar medications are key to the financial bottom line of Obamacare, but we should not compromise quality of care to reduce healthcare costs.

The American College of Surgeons and American Medical Association jointly resolved that physicians should retain the authority to prescribe a biologic if a patient does not respond to a bio-similar, and Senate Bill 598 will enhance communication and provide safeguards to enable doctors detect if adverse reactions occur.

The passage of this new legislation will continue California's leadership role in health reform nationally, while also balancing cost savings with the overarching principle of patient safety.

-- John Maa, San Francisco

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