Julie M. Reed, the executive director of the Biosimilars Forum, discussed how biosimilar savings can differ between stakeholders and the importance of competition for creating those savings.
How do the potential savings related to increased biosimilar utilization differ for health plans and patients?
That’s a great question. I think it differs only in who the stakeholder is. The cost savings are there for everyone. Now, what really differs is the responsibility of the health plans. They can and should include all biosimilars on their formularies, and they should cover all biosimilars, and that gives patients and doctors access to all the biosimilars.
That’s really key because what we know and our economic studies show is that the more biosimilars competing at the same time with the reference product, you’re seeing the prices go down faster, you’re seeing greater cost savings. If it’s only 1 biosimilar vs all the biosimilars and having equal access and coverage, you’re not seeing the robust competition that you could be having. That, in turn, [leads to] the price goes down, the co-pays go down, the prices for patients and everything else.
So, that’s a key piece as far as the payers and their formularies, and Medicare, and the governments. They have a responsibility to really promote and increase the uptake to these lower-cost products.