Biosimilar sales are expected to nearly triple in the coming years, from about $2.5 billion last year to more than $6.5 billion in 2024, according to an S&P Global Ratings analysis cited by STAT.
Biosimilars are lower-cost versions of biologic drugs created to bring down overall drug spending and designed to have the same health outcomes. The first biosimilar was approved by the FDA in 2015, and since then, 26 biosimilars have received approval.
Biosimilars were created to combat higher drug prices, but so far use of the drugs has been slower than predicted, according to STAT.
Patent litigation has slowed some biosimilar drug launches; savings from biosimilars have often been less than expected; and payers have been not been motivated to put biosimilars on formularies, STATreported. Some brand-name drugmakers also have spread misinformation that biosimilars aren’t as safe or effective as biologics.
But several factors indicate that the sale of biosimilar are poised to take off.
For one, the FDA and the Federal Trade Commission have been working together to boost biosimilar uptake and have vowed to take action against false or misleading communications about biosimilars.
The FDA also has been working to approve more biosimilars, STAT reported. Several best-selling cancer drugs have launched biosimilars recently, and several best-selling biologics have patents expiring soon, opening them up to biosimilar competition.
Biosimilars should account for 2.5 percent of all biopharmaceutical sales by 2024, up from 1.5 percent in 2019, according to S&P’s report.
S&P’s analysis didn’t include sales from Sandoz, the generic unit of Novartis, which means the actual numbers could be even higher, STAT reported.
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Originally published on beckershospitalreview.com