In my letter published Aug. 10 (“Bill is a question of patient safety”), I stated that SB 598 regarding biosimilars had “stalled” in Assemblyman Mike Gatto's committee and implied that the delay was willful based on rumors that I had been hearing about the bill. As a cancer survivor who is deeply interested in biosimilars and patient care, that bothered me and I submitted an opinion to that effect.
As a result of the publication of that piece, I have been contacted by several people involved with the legislation who tell me that the delay was caused by the mandatory legislative recess, a period during which no committees hear any bills, and not due to any stalling by Assemblyman Gatto.
Considering Assemblyman Gatto's legislative record, that makes more sense. He has an excellent record of coming out on the side of patients and fighting special interests.
Now that the Legislature has returned to session, I applaud Assemblyman Gatto's thoughtful deliberation on this issue and appreciate him making sure he has the facts and hears from all parties. Hopefully, now that this confusion is cleared up, the Assembly can act on this bill and patients will have the access they need to biosimilars as they fight cancer and other deadly diseases.
Dr. Gerald N. Felando
Editor's Note: The writer is a retired state Assemblyman.