As far as overall industry themes expected in 2020, drug pricing will remain a hot topic. Following a year in which FDA approvals of biosimilars hit double digits for the first time with 10, it’s not much of a surprise that many sources foresee a continued focus on these products in 2020. Last year also saw the launches of the first oncology biosimilars, and multiple competitors to three top-selling drugs — Herceptin (trastuzumab), Avastin (bevacizumab) and Rituxan (rituximab) — could see aggressive payer contracting efforts to try to bring down prices in multiple oncology indications (RSP 1/20, p. 1). And the approval and subsequent launch of Zolgensma (onasemnogene abeparvovec-xioi), the first product in the United States to top $1 million, has put the spotlight on other gene therapies coming down the pike.
“Pricing will remain a key focal point for 2020, but one thing to keep an eye on specifically within this realm will be pricing of biosimilars,” says Andrew Cournoyer, R.Ph., vice president, director, access experience team at Precision for Value. “A number of key biosimilar launches are expected in 2020.…There are expectations that biosimilars will help to lower specialty drug costs. The extent of potential savings will be interesting to watch but could be realized from a couple of avenues.