Celltrion Weighs in on Biosimilar Uptake Challenges in the United States

A key factor in overcoming barriers to United States market entry is sharing the positive experiences of both healthcare professionals and patients, explained HoUng Kim, Head of Strategy and Operations Division, Celltrion Healthcare during a presentation at SMi Biosimilars USA Conference in Iselin, NJ, that took place November 14-15, 2018.
Samantha DiGrande
November 19, 2018
A key factor in overcoming barriers to United States market entry is sharing the positive experiences of both healthcare professionals and patients, explained HoUng Kim, Head of Strategy and Operations Division, Celltrion Healthcare during a presentation at SMi Biosimilars USA Conference in Iselin, NJ, that took place November 14-15, 2018.

In discussing the value of biosimilars to the healthcare system, Kim cited data from IMS Health that found that “biosimilars could lead to cumulative savings of up to $107 billion by 2020 in the United States and the top 5 European Union [EU] countries.” While the EU has been ahead of the curve when it comes to approving and prescribing biosimilars, the US market has been slower to generate uptake as the first product was approved some 10 years prior in the EU than in the United States.

Kim highlighted several challenges facing the US biosimilar market, such as physicians and patients alike lacking confidence in the products due to a “low level of education and awareness.” He discussed the results of 2 surveys that found that “67% of patients said they were ‘unaware’ of biosimilars,1 and when responding to the question ‘is a biosimilar safe?” 70% of patients said ‘no.’”In addition, he also mentioned the alleged “anti-biosimilar campaigns” that run in the United States as increasing the negative perception of biosimilars, as well as patent litigation that hinders biosimilars entering the market.

In discussing ways to address these market barriers, Kim emphasized that it’s not a task that can be accomplished by any one company alone. “In particular, it is important to highlight best practice[s] and work together to ensure as many patients as possible in the [United States] have access to treatment through the use of high quality, more cost-effective biosimilars,” he said.

When looking ahead to the future of the biosimilars market, Kim announced that Celltrion was looking forward to launching subcutaneous biosimilar infliximab next year. “We expect that this will generate further cost savings in addition to improved convenience as dual formulations would provide therapeutic approaches to optimize patient outcomes.”

References

1. Jacobs I, Singh E, Sewell KL, Al-sabbagh A, Shane LG. Patient attitudes and understanding about biosimilars: an international cross sectional survey. Patient Prefer Adherence. 2016;10:937-948. 
2. Cohen H, Beydoun D, Chien D, et al. Awareness, Knowledge, and Perceptions of Biosimilars Among Specialty Physicians. Adv Ther. 2016;33(12):2160-2172. 
 

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