Cate Lockhart, PharmD, PhD, discusses when she believes the industry will start seeing biosimilars driving down cost of drugs.
When will we see price competition on biosimilars?
I think if you think of it in a purely economic, capitalistic sense then you should expect, like [with] generics, with 3 [biosimilars on the market] it’s enough competition to bring that down. But, again, there’s other considerations in predicting how much of an impact that will [have]. In Europe they are seeing significant costs and influences, but they also have multiple products per category, for the most part, and they have a healthcare structure that’s quite a bit different and quite a bit more linear and a bit simpler than what we face in the United States. Here, there’s contracting and rebates, and all of these other components that go into pricing that I think becomes more of a challenge and harder to predict. At least my perspective is that you really have to think more broadly, you have to think longitudinally and not quarterly, “This is my bottom line this quarter,” but looking more longitudinally about say, [if] I’m a payer or a physician, ultimately, what’s going to be the best for the patients, including their costs as well as their treatment.
Now if we assume, like we’re saying that biosimilars really are clinically no different, then thinking about some of those other considerations is important for our patients. Again, it comes down to having evidence to support that, to trust the biosimilars.