Gov. Brown Vetoes Bill on 'Biosimilar' Medications

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed legislation that would have allowed California pharmacists to dispense substitute medications that are biologically similar to brand-name treatments.

Biological medicines, which are created from living cells rather than by mixing chemicals, have been used to treat cancer and immune-system disorders.

Those treatments are becoming a fast-growing segment of the pharmaceutical market. Unlike traditional generic medications, the so-called biosimilars resemble but are not identical to the biological medication they are replicating.

In his veto message Saturday, Brown wrote that he supports allowing pharmacists to substitute biosimilar medication for a brand-name treatment once these drugs are approved by the FDA.

However, he says the state should wait until federal regulators determine when biosimilars can be used.

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