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Nineteen.

The number of biosimilars that are currently approved in the United States (U.S.) to treat a wide-range of conditions, including autoimmune diseases and certain types of cancers.

Seven.

The number of FDA-approved biosimilars that are accessible to patients today.

These numbers mean that too often, lower-cost, FDA-approved biosimilars are not made available to patients who desperately need them – even though biosimilars have the potential to not only save the U.S. billions in health care costs but provide a solution that could decrease spending for both patients and American taxpayers and improve public health.

Biosimilars currently on the market have been estimated on average to cost nearly 30 percent less than their originator products and could save the U.S. as much as $54 billion over the next decade. The FDA estimates that last year Americans could have saved more than $4.5 billion alone with access to approved biosimilars.

More needs to be done to help patients access biosimilars and unlock the potential savings these important therapies may provide.

As policymakers work to lower health care costs, they must put patients first and prioritize solutions that will safely and directly result in potential savings. Notably, the administration’s fiscal year 2020 budget proposal calls for “payment and cost-sharing incentives to increase biosimilar adoption.” One solution is to reduce patients’ out-of-pocket costs for biosimilars—as this policy could save seniors in Medicare up to $3.3 billion and up to $5.2 billion in taxpayer dollars over the next decade, just by increasing the use of these therapies.

The real value in health care comes when doctors have the option to provide a treatment that’s not only proven to be as safe and effective but may also be at a lower cost to patients.

Biosimilars hold tremendous promise to save the U.S. health care system money while improving patients’ health and well-being. Patients must be able to access these often lower-cost therapies and they deserve to directly benefit from these cost-savings by paying less out-of-pocket.

Implementing policies that reduce patients’ out-of-pocket costs for biosimilars has the potential to generate billions in savings for the U.S. health care system and, most importantly, billions in potential savings for patients.

Now is the time to act.