Saturday, June 15, 2024

Biosimilars Entry Significantly Lowers Biologics Prices Worldwide

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The introduction of biosimilars presents a transformative shift in the pharmaceutical landscape, directly impacting the pricing dynamics of biologic products. By offering a more affordable alternative, biosimilars are poised to alleviate the financial burden on healthcare systems and patients globally.

A recent study published in PLoS One on June 6, 2024, assessed the price impact of biosimilars on eight biologic products across 57 countries and regions from 2012 to 2019. Researchers employed an interrupted time series design and utilized IQVIA MIDAS® data to analyze the annual sales figures of biologics, including adalimumab, bevacizumab, epoetin, etanercept, filgrastim, infliximab, pegfilgrastim, and trastuzumab.

Immediate Price Reductions

The study revealed that following the entry of biosimilars, there was an immediate reduction in the ex-manufacturer price per dose for several biologics. Trastuzumab saw a price drop of $438 per dose, infliximab by $112, and bevacizumab by $110. These immediate savings highlight the potential of biosimilars to provide cost-effective alternatives to expensive biologic therapies.

Long-Term Price Impact

The analysis also demonstrated persistent long-term price reductions for biologics. Annually, adalimumab’s price per dose decreased by $49, filgrastim by $290, infliximab by $21, and trastuzumab by $189. In the US specifically, the prices of three biologics—filgrastim, pegfilgrastim, and infliximab—dropped significantly by $955, $753, and $104 per dose respectively, each year following the introduction of biosimilars.

Key Inferences for Stakeholders

– Policymakers should focus on expanding the availability and adoption of biosimilars to reduce healthcare costs.
– Healthcare providers can leverage biosimilars to offer more cost-effective treatment options for patients.
– Pharmaceutical companies may need to adjust pricing strategies for biologics in response to biosimilar competition.

The findings underscore the economic benefits of biosimilars in curbing the escalating costs associated with biologic treatments. By increasing the utilization of biosimilars, healthcare systems can achieve substantial savings, ultimately benefiting patients and stakeholders alike. The study advocates for policies that promote the broader availability of biosimilars as a strategic approach to managing medical expenditures effectively.

Original Article: PLoS One. 2024 Jun 6;19(6):e0304851. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0304851. eCollection 2024.

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