Tuesday, 17 Sep 2019

You are here

Biosimilars Projected to Yield $54 Billion in Savings

A primary projected advantage to biosimilar drugs development has been cost savings. A new study from the RAND Corporation suggests biosimilars could cut health care spending in the United States by $54 billion over the next decade. This number is nearly 20 percent greater than a similar study conducted three years ago by the same researchers. (Citation Source: https://buff.ly/2yLfgd8)

Biologics are pivotal in the treatment of many conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic and inflammatory bowel diseases. While 1 percent to 2 percent of the population is treated with a biologic each year, these drugs accounted for 38 percent of prescription drug spending in 2015. In addition, biologics accounted for 70 percent of the growth in prescription drug spending in the U.S. between 2010 and 2015.

Although there are 4 anti-TNF biosimilars that are FDA approved and each is proven to be equivalent to the approved "reference" biologics in terms of potency, safety and efficacy, the growth and utilization of these agents since 2016 has been slow.

RAND researchers developed their estimate of savings from biosimilars by examining other studies that have examined the issue, reviewing the sales history of more than 100 biologic drugs and examining the brief experience of the one biosimilar drug that has been marketed in the U.S.

RAND researchers estimate that that biosimilars will cut spending on biologics by about 3 percent over the next decade. The range of the new savings estimate given reasonable ranges of key assumptions -- like the price of biosimilars versus reference biologics and biosimilar market share -- varied from $24 billion to $150 billion from 2018 through 2027.

Overall it is thought that the introduction of biosimilars into the U.S. marketplace is expected to increase competition and drive down prices, resulting in savings for patients, health care payers and taxpayers. Lower costs also could improve access to biologic drugs, which may lead to overall greater spending; unless these treatments lower hospitalizations or other costs of care.

 

Disclosures: 
The author has received research/grant financial support on this subject
The author has received compensation as an advisor or consultant on this subject

Add new comment

More Like This

Anakinra Shows Benefits in Cytokine Storm

The interleukin (IL)-1 receptor antagonist anakinra (Kineret) showed promise in critically ill children who develop the often-lethal condition known as secondary hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (sHLH)/macrophage activation syndrome (MAS), a retrospective single-center study found.

 

Prior Authorizations Delay Care in Rheumatology

Physicians who believe their patients' health is negatively affected by insurers' demands for prior authorization, and the delays that often result, will find that opinion vindicated by a new study of rheumatology care: when permission had to be sought from insurers to provide intravenous drugs, average time to begin treatment was longer and patients had twice the corticosteroid exposure, a single-center analysis found.

Upadacitinib (RINVOQ) FDA Approved for Rheumatoid Arthritis

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday, August 16, approved AbbVie JAK1 inhibitor, Rinvoq (upadacitinib) for adults with  rheumatoid arthritis with moderately to severely active disease either not responding to, or intolerant of, methotrexate (MTX). 

Are Non-TNF Biologics Superior to TNF inhibitors?

Current ACR and EULAR guidelines list TNF-inhibitors (TNFi) abatacept, rituximab, and tocilizumab as being equally effective after methotrexate or as second line therapies when treating rheumatoid arthritis. An analysis from the Swedish Rheumatology Register shows that the non-TNFi biologic DMARDs (bDMARDs), in particular tocilizumab and rituximab, are more effective than TNFi. 

FINCH2: Filgotinib in Biologic Refractory Rheumatoid Arthritis

The FINCH2 study has shown that filgotinib, an oral once daily JAK 1 inhibitor, is highly effective in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients who failed to respond to prior biologic therapy.