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Biosimilars Could Cut Spending for Biologic Therapy in the U.S.

Increased market growth of biosimilars that are similar to brand-name biologic agents has the potential to reduce spending on prescription drugs

FRIDAY, Jan. 21, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Biosimilar drugs could drive down prices for biologic drugs and generate savings of about $38.4 billion between 2021 and 2025, according to a study published online Jan. 3 in the American Journal of Managed Care.

Andrew Mulcahy, Ph.D., from RAND Corporation in Arlington, Virginia, and colleagues projected U.S. spending on biologics during a five-year period under three scenarios: (1) a baseline scenario holding quarter 4 (Q4) of 2020 market conditions constant; (2) under main assumptions allowing for biosimilar market growth and entry; and (3) an upper-bound scenario assuming greater biosimilar uptake, more robust price competition, and quicker biosimilar entry.

The researchers found that estimated biosimilar savings from 2021 to 2025 under their main approach were $38.4 billion, or 5.9 percent of projected spending on biologics during the same period. An estimated $26.1 billion of savings was accounted for by biologics first facing biosimilar competition from 2021 to 2025, with $12.2 billion from evolving market conditions for already-marketed biosimilars. Under the main approach, $24.6 billion of savings were from downward pressure on reference biologic prices rather than lower biosimilar prices. Under the upper-bound scenario, savings were substantially higher ($124.5 billion).

“Biosimilars have the potential to lower spending on biologic drugs that account for a rapidly increasing share of overall U.S. prescription drug spending,” Mulcahy said in a statement.

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