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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has signed two bills aimed at expanding patient access to either cheaper biologic drugs or more expensive prescriptions.

Nixon signed the legislation Wednesday.

One bill includes new rules for step therapy, which is the practice of beginning treatments with cheaper drugs before moving patients to more expensive ones.

The measure requires health insurers to establish a process to allow patients to request not to do step therapy. Patients who have already undergone step therapy could remain on more expensive drugs if other drugs had been deemed ineffective.

The other bill would allow pharmacists to fill prescriptions for generic biotech drugs, which are similar copies of medicines produced in living cells.

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry says the measure will help keep drug costs down.