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Peter Bach has another crazy idea.

Bach, the director for the center for health policy and outcomes at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, thinks that biosimilars, the would-be cheaper alternatives to the biologic drugs that are among the industry’s most expensive, are a lost cause.


The government has been developing policies to foster a biosimilars market, one that would work like the generics market and ultimately drive down the price of versions of drugs like Epogen, Avastin, and Humira. But Bach and his frequent co-author, Mark Trusheim of the MIT Sloan School of Management, argue in two new blog posts in Health Affairs that it’s time to abandon that approach. Instead the government should simply start regulating the prices of those medicines after their patents expire. The current system exists, they argue, only because lawmakers are unwilling to embrace the obvious. Doing so, they argue, could save $250 billion over 10 years.

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