The ‘Remarkable’ Rise of Biosimilar Drugs

“Will 2021 be another break-through year for biosimilars?” asks Forbes in an article this month.

Written by healthcare analyst Joshua Cohen Pd.D., the article discusses the rising use of biosimilars which he calls “remarkable.”

“The latest data show that physician-administered biosimilar drugs are successfully displacing their reference biologics,” Cohen writes. “Newer biosimilars are being adopted faster than before, due in large part to declining prices.”

Biosimilars are sometimes confused with generic drugs. Though there are similarities, chiefly in that they have the same clinical effect as the more costly brand name formulations, the difference is that biosimilar drugs are highly similar, but not identical to the brand names. The other difference is that generics are copies of synthetic drugs, while biosimilars are based on drugs developed using living organisms such as bacteria, animal or plant cells.

Like generics, biosimilars are significantly less expensive than the brand name counterparts. These original drugs are referred to as “reference” or “originator” products.

As the chart prepared by the Drug Channels Institute shows, the market share of some of the newest biosimilars is growing rapidly.

Their use would increase even more rapidly, writes Cohen, if the Food and Drug Administration granted biosimilars interchangeability status. A biosimilar product that meets the requirements of the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act will be given interchangeable approval, meaning a pharmacy can substitute it for the original, brand name without the involvement of the prescribing doctor.

Currently, that’s one of two big obstacles to biosimilar sales. Doctors must specifically prescribe the biosimilar. Most do not out of habit, familiarity with the existing brand name and because so many health plans do not cover biosimilars.

As Adam J. Fein, PhD, CEO of the Drug Channels Institute, explains, “biosimilars are often not preferred over reference products at many of the largest U.S. commercial health plans. Physician preferences can slow adoption, too. A 2019 survey found that a majority (61%) of oncology physicians still prefer not to use biosimilars, use them only for supportive care, or prefer not to switch patients.”

Congress is expected to act next year on a bill with bipartisan support that incentivizes the use of biosimilars by changing the reimbursement formula for brand-name drugs and biologics, Cohen says. Since most biosimilars are physician-administered, improving the reimbursement rate is hoped to be enough of an incentive for doctors to make the switch.

One estimate from the Wall Street analyst firm Bernstein Research puts the annual savings from the use of biosimilars at $6.5 billion.

Calling 2020 an “inflection point,” Fein says, “The biosimilar market is finally beginning to fulfill its promise.”

Photo by Kendal on Unsplash

View Post

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Anthony Agosto
Accounting + Finance General Interest Green Key News Human Resources Leadership + Management Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Anthony Agosto

Shop for Jobs this Holiday Weekend
General Interest Green Key News Human Resources Worklife

Shop for Jobs this Holiday Weekend

Thankful for Our Community this Thanksgiving
General Interest Green Key News Leadership + Management Worklife

Thankful for Our Community this Thanksgiving

Green Key Unlocked: Behavioral Interviews in IT
General Interest Green Key News Information Technology Worklife

Green Key Unlocked: Behavioral Interviews in IT

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Stu Leifer
Accounting + Finance General Interest Green Key News Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Stu Leifer

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Sam Jaberi
General Interest Green Key News Information Technology Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Sam Jaberi

Preparing for Different Types of Interviews
General Interest Green Key News Human Resources Worklife

Preparing for Different Types of Interviews

Benefits of Working Hybrid
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

Benefits of Working Hybrid

Green Key Unlocked: How to Succeed in Desktop Support
General Interest Green Key News Information Technology Worklife

Green Key Unlocked: How to Succeed in Desktop Support

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Andrew List
Financial Services General Interest Green Key News Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Andrew List

How to Improve Sleep Hygiene (For a Better Work-Life Balance)
General Interest Green Key News Healthcare Worklife

How to Improve Sleep Hygiene (For a Better Work-Life Balance)

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Karlina Cordero
General Interest Green Key News Human Resources Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Karlina Cordero

How to Ask for a Raise
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

How to Ask for a Raise

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Brittany Kinsella
General Interest Green Key News Leadership + Management Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Brittany Kinsella

Green Key Unlocked: Why Green Key?
Accounting + Finance Architecture + Engineering Financial Services General Interest Green Key News Healthcare Human Resources Information Technology Leadership + Management Legal Support Marketing Technology Pharma Professional Support Worklife

Green Key Unlocked: Why Green Key?

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Samantha Leveille
Architecture + Engineering General Interest Green Key News Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Samantha Leveille

How to Answer Salary Expectations
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

How to Answer Salary Expectations

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Sean Coyne
Architecture + Engineering General Interest Green Key News Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Sean Coyne

Questions to Ask During a Job Interview
General Interest Green Key News Human Resources Worklife

Questions to Ask During a Job Interview

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Angela Singh
General Interest Green Key News Human Resources Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Angela Singh

Latest Blog Posts
View All Posts
#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Anthony Agosto

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Anthony Agosto

Anthony has been with Green Key for over eight years and has played an integral role in the success of...
Read More
Shop for Jobs this Holiday Weekend

Shop for Jobs this Holiday Weekend

This coming weekend may call for hearty food, crazy sales, and some quality down time to unwind. But while you're...
Read More
Thankful for Our Community this Thanksgiving

Thankful for Our Community this Thanksgiving

As Thanksgiving approaches, we'd like to take the time to thank our amazing Green Key community! This includes all of...
Read More