FTC slams FDA's proposal for naming biosimilars

They believe the agency's proposal might hinder competition and keep prices high

The Federal Trade Commission is criticizing the FDA's plan for naming biosimilars, because they are worried the proposal might hinder competition and keep prices high, reported Roll Call.

The FDA wants biosimilars to adopt the nonproprietary common name of the biologic drug, and just add a four-letter suffix to distinguish them from the originals and each other.

But, the FTC doesn't agree.

“The FDA’s naming convention, which departs from the FDA tradition, may cause physicians to believe mistakenly that the products necessarily have clinically meaningful differences, potentially resulting in reduced price competition in biologic drug markets,” the FTC said, according to a report in Roll Call.

According to the report, "big drug companies generally favor the FDA’s proposal while insurers and generic drugmakers echo the FTC’s concerns."

There is also a concern, among some, that the FDA's naming proposal could prevent pharmacists from dispensing biosimilars for the biologic under state substitution laws.

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