Six U.S. senators on Thursday introduced a bipartisan proposal that would expand the FDA's authority in approving generic versions of biotech drugs and give biopharmaceutical firms five years -- instead of 12 years -- market exclusivity before a follow-on form can be launched. Biotech executives criticized the bill, arguing it would harm the industry and lead to the production of unsafe medicines. "It's a shortcut that would jeopardize patient safety and undermine our ability to develop future cures and therapies," BIO spokesman Jeff Joseph said.

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