Biosimilars market could be strengthened by informing payers and patients of biological therapy advantages

The US biosimilar drugs market has failed to deliver on the promise of making biologics more affordable and widespread. The education of all sectors of this market is a key factor that will drive increased uptake and provide much-needed savings for patients during these turbulent economic times. While at the same time strengthening the biosimilar market, making it a more attractive prospect for pharmaceutical companies, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Quentin Horgan, Analyst, Drugs Database, at GlobalData comments: “Patients still have a lack of access to biosimilar drugs and see little savings. The biosimilars market will not see a decrease in the prices of biologic therapies while payers and patients remain uneducated about their advantages.”

A low number of biosimilar drugs have reached the global market. However, the US biosimilars market has increased significantly from only one biosimilar drug being approved in 2015. GlobalData highlights that there has been an 87% average increase every year in the number of approved biosimilar drugs between 2015 and 2019, almost doubling approvals year-on-year (YOY) with 10 biosimilar drugs approved in 2019.

The lack of education and understanding of biosimilar drugs are driving payers and patients away from them, preventing their uptake in meaningful numbers, which significantly hinders the growth of the market. Patients are unaware of the cost savings and payers are unclear if they can replace the reference biologics with the biosimilar drugs.

Horgan continues: “The importance of biosimilars and the benefits they can offer to consumers are clear and understood by the FDA, which has implemented the Biosimilar Action Plan (BAP) to help revitalize the biosimilar market, including streamlining regulatory processes and engaging more with the industry to promote biosimilars.

“However, governmental and economic incentives have not yet achieved the desired and expected uptake of biosimilar drugs and may even be hindering the market by reducing competition.”

 

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