Biosimilars Market Is Expected to Grow, But Impact on Payers, Costs Remains Uncertain
The FDA is expected to approve several biosimilar medications in the next few years, potentially leading to billions of dollars in savings for payers and patients, according to a recent report from Cardinal Health. However, Bruce Feinberg, D.O., Cardinal Health’s chief medical officer, tells AIS Health that the promise of biosimilars to decrease medication and overall health care costs remains uncertain. He adds that the price differential between biologic drugs and their biosimilars has not reached anywhere near the levels seen between small-molecule medications and their generics.
Feinberg says that “in most of the biosimilars to date, none of the manufacturers have been quite willing to initiate that race to the bottom on price,” in large part due the high costs of producing biosimilars and funding research and development of them. Whereas the introduction of a generic can reduce prices by 90%, Feinberg says “we’re not seeing those kinds of changes [with biosimilars],” claiming the range is usually from 10% to 30% with an average of 15%.