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Biosimilars Set to Take a Big Market Share in the US

As biosimilar therapies for rheumatologic conditions are approved in the U.S., HSS rheumatologist Allan Gibofsky, MD discussed the perception and potential pricing of biosimilars in the print cover story of Healio Rheumatology.

According to the article, providers are questioning how biosimilar therapies will be priced, and how insurers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) will make their decisions.

Dr. Gibofsky said "although a manufacturer may offer a discount from average wholesale price, that is not the full determinant of use, as rebates and volume pricing must be factored in as well. Candidly, how they will be priced to the payer and PBM will be less important to the prescribing clinician than to what degree the cost-savings benefit the individual patient."

Additionally, Dr. Gibofsky and colleagues conducted a survey in 2016 asking physicians about their familiarity with biosimilars. They found that 38 percent reported being extremely familiar with the FDA's definition of a biosimilar, while 36 percent reported moderate familiarity with the definition.

"This survey supports a need to further educate U.S. rheumatologists about biosimilars, extrapolation, and interchangeability. Knowledge gaps include a lack of understanding of biosimilarity based on switching, and the availability of currently approved biosimilars," said Dr. Gibofsky.

"There is an increasing desire by clinicians to learn more about biosimilars. Clinicians seem less interested in the manufacturing processes of biosimilars than their use in clinical practice," he added.

Read the full article at healio.com [registration required]. This article also appeared as the cover story in the January 2018 print edition.