Interactive tool shows cost-saving potential of biosimilars in each US state

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Richard Drury
© GettyImages/Richard Drury

Related tags Biosimilars

The Biosimilars Forum, in partnership with the Pacific Research Institute (PRI), recently released a report and interactive tool highlighting the significant costs that biosimilars can save US states.

A State One-Pager Builder​ instrument allows users to learn about the state-by-state cost-saving potential of such drugs.

Californians could save more than $1bn annually with a 75% biosimilar market share. Similarly, Floridians could economize to the tune of around $960m, while Texans and New Yorkers could see gains of $820m, according to that US organization.  

The projected state savings for patients, taxpayers, and employers associated with a 75% adoption rate of biosimilars could be realized through bipartisan policy changes, claimed the not-for-profit group.

By increasing biosimilar competition, states stand to save billions but policymakers need to enact simple reforms to foster a more robust biosimilars market, said Meaghan Smith, executive director of the Biosimilars Forum. “Increasing biosimilar use among physicians and patients will require a commitment from our lawmakers to remove the anti-competitive barriers to biosimilar uptake and minimize disincentives. Without competition from biosimilars, the cost of biologics will continue to increase and limit access to treatment for patients.”

To date, the FDA has approved 31 biosimilars, including one interchangeable biosimilar, for the treatment of a variety of health conditions. The EU has 50 biosimilar approvals, while the APAC region has authorized the use of 173 biosimilars.

As the next generation of generic medicines, biosimilars cost on average 30% less than reference biologics, which account for 40% of all drug spending, noted the Biosimilars Forum.

Support for biosimilars continues to grow on Capitol Hill and in the Biden Administration, it acknowledged. “Several months ago, President Biden issued an Executive Order directing the US Department of Health and Human Services to take steps to promote biosimilar competition, and bipartisan legislation in the House and Senate continues to build momentum.”

Interchangeability status deemed critical driver 

In September, when we asked Quentin Horgan, senior drugs database analyst at GlobalData, whether recent US legislative moves and education programs for health care providers, payors, and patients would likely create further understanding and access to biosimilars in the US, he told us:

“The US market has already attempted to educate payors and patients more, in previous years. However, the impact on biosimilar uptake appears to be negligible, and many believe that interchangeability status, allowing for automatic substitution, would drive use far more.”

In July 2021, the FDA approved the first interchangeable biosimilar product, Semglee (insulin glargine-yfgn), as a diabetes treatment. Semglee is both biosimilar to and interchangeable with Lantus (insulin glargine).

And the US regulator said back then that it expects to approve more interchangeable biosimilar products in the future. 

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