Adoption of Biosimilars Is "Critical" to Combat Cost Increases, Says Vizient

In its semiannual drug pricing forecast, healthcare performance company Vizient said that biosimilars will be a key part of combatting rising spending on drugs among its membership.
The Center for Biosimilars Staff
August 08, 2019
In its semiannual drug pricing forecast, healthcare performance company Vizient said that biosimilars will be a key part of combatting rising spending on drugs among its membership.

Vizient’s membership currently spends approximately $67 billion on drugs annually, and with a projected 4.28% of drug price inflation, these members are expected to spend another $3 billion annually, even before considering cost increases for new drugs or volume changes.

The top 5 drugs by total spending among Vizient’s membership are adalimumab, infliximab, rituximab, etanercept, and pegfilgrastim, all of which have FDA-approved biosimilars, although only infliximab and pegfilgrastim biosimilars are yet available in the US market. Among these drugs, adalimumab, etanercept, infliximab, and rituximab are all projected to have some of the largest increases in price over the coming year.

As patents for reference products begin to expire, and as more biosimilars are launching in the US market, Vizient says that adopting biosimilars is critical to “combat the costs of these therapies.” In the interest of fostering adoption, Vizient has convened a biosimilars task force to create resources that will help members evaluate biosimilars for formulary inclusion as soon as they launch.

The company has also established a resource webpage for its members that includes evidence-based clinical information on biosimilars, including a soon-to-be-launched financial evaluation tool that members will be able to use to assess the cost and reimbursement impact of adopting different biosimilar-related strategies.

Finally, Vizient says that the market for oncology biosimilars will be “the true test” of whether a biosimilars market in the United States can be sustained, and “it is critically important that we focus our attention on supporting biosimilar evaluation and uptake,” given that spending on rituximab, bevacizumab, trastuzumab, and pegfilgrastim alone account for approximately $14 billion in member spending each year.

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