Brown blocks bill to limit use of biosimilars in California


California Governor Jerry Brown has vetoed a bill that would have limited the use of biosimilar pharmaceuticals in the state.

Brown explained that the legislation was premature, as the FDA hasn't yet set the rules governing such drugs.

Biosimilars are the copycat versions of biotech drugs - also known as biologics - which are complex proteins developed in living cells. Biosimilars are not called generics, as it's difficult to prove that they're exactly the same as the biologic original.

The campaign to limit the use of biosimilars has been led by Amgen (AMGN) and Genentech (RHHBY.OB); so far, 10 states have blocked such efforts this year, including Illinois and Texas.

Companies developing biosimilars include Hospira (HSP), Novartis (NVS), Momenta Pharmaceuticals (MNTA), Baxter (BAX) and Teva (TEVA).

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