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More than 100 Democratic members of Congress urged the Trump administration to remove pending language from the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement trade agreement that would lock the U.S into at least 10 years of marketing exclusivity for biologics, a move they argue will hurt taxpayers and patients.

In a letter sent on Thursday to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the lawmakers cited a provision of the deal, which has not yet been ratified, that would prevent a company seeking to sell a lower-cost version of a brand-name biologic from doing so for a decade. For this reason, they maintain the trade pact as it currently stands runs counter to efforts by President Trump to lower drug prices.


How so? Biosimilars, which are nearly identical variants of biologics that are expected to provide the same result in patients, may cost 20% to 30% less. The lawmakers cited Food and Drug Administration data that brand-name biologics represent 40% of all spending in the U.S. on prescription medicines and, from 2010 to 2015, comprised 70% of the growth in U.S. spending on drugs.

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