Re "Patients who need biosimilar drugs could go without if bill isn't signed" (Viewpoints, Oct. 8): When it comes to our health, doctors and patients should be empowered to make the best decisions possible about medication. That's why the Silicon Valley Leadership Group urges Gov. Jerry Brown to sign Senate Bill 598 into law.
SB 598 will reduce health care costs by allowing the use of biosimilars while protecting patient safety. While biosimilars are the generics of biologic drugs, they are not the same as generics. The process of creating biologics is complex and sensitive to manufacturing conditions. This isn't to say if an approved biosimilar drug is ineffective, it shouldn't be substituted. SB 598 doesn't require the pharmacist to obtain permission to substitute, only to notify the physician after the fact. If issues arise, the doctor is able to factor this into their problem solving, particularly important in cases where patients have sensitive conditions.
-- Carl Guardino, San Jose, president and CEO, Silicon Valley Leadership Group