Bruce Sherman, MD, FCCP, FACOEM, chief medical officer of the National Alliance for Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions, discusses how biosimilars will play a role in controlling high drug costs for employers.
I think biosimilars will be helpful. I think there’s a little doubt from a cost standpoint. I think the willingness to embrace biosimilars in the [United States] has been slower than what we’ve seen, for example, in Europe, but I think they are here to stay. Hopefully the additional competition will help to further contribute to lower drug prices, and I think it’s just going to be a matter of time before those drugs are more readily available.
I think, though, we also have to appreciate the significance not only of the drug but of the support services that may be coming from the respective pharmaceutical manufacturers that represent a wraparound offering for the specialty drugs that they manufacture. If those programs are providing additional value, I would hope that the biosimilar manufacturers could provide something comparable to those as well.