Now more than ever, with healthcare costs on the rise, we need to support innovative healthcare solutions like biosimilars — equally effective, often lower-cost alternatives to their biologic counterparts.
Today, we see that 9 out of 10prescriptions are filled by generic drugs with commensurate lower prices. Here, the healthcare system works as intended. Unfortunately, this is simply not the case with biosimilars. Too often, lower-cost, FDA-approved biosimilars are stymied by deep-rooted behaviors and policy challenges that prevent them from reaching the patients who need them.
Broader patient access to biosimilars could create long-term cost savings and efficiencies for health systems, free up resources for addressing other important aspects of patient care, and allow earlier intervention to help improve patient outcomes. Biosimilars could save U.S. patients and taxpayers an estimated $100 billion over the next five years.
In fact, on average, the estimated cost of biosimilars currently on the market is nearly 30 percent less than their originator products and could save the U.S. as much as $54 billion over the next decade.1 In addition, a study found that, while only representing 2.3% of the U.S. market, patient-accessible biosimilars saved the U.S. healthcare system $253.8 million in one year.2
More needs to be done to help patients access biosimilars and unlock the potential savings these important therapies may provide.
The real value of biosimilars to healthcare comes when doctors have the option to provide a treatment that not only is proven to be as safe and effective as its biologic counterpart, but also may be provided at a lower cost to patients. As policymakers work to reduce healthcare costs, they should put patients first and prioritize solutions that will safely lead to potential savings for the healthcare system and, ultimately, consumers. Biosimilars are one way to achieve this goal.
1 Mulcahy AW, Hlavka JP, Case SR. Biosimilar Cost Savings in the United States. RAND Corporation. https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/perspectives/PE200/PE264/RAND_PE264.pdf. Published 2017.
2 Pacific Research Institute. Incenting Competition to Reduce Drug Spending: The Biosimilar Opportunity: Issue Brief. July 2019. Available at: https://www.pacificresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/BiosimilarsCompetition_F.pdf.
Join the Ready for Cures community to receive updates on how you can help protect scientific innovation and the discovery of breakthroughs.