Christine Simmon Talks Uptake Patterns: Biosimilars vs Generics

Christine Simmon talks about whether or not biosimilar uptake will happen as rapidly as it did for generics at the recent FDA/Federal Trade Commission workshop on anticompetitive practices.

Christine Simmon, JD, is the senior vice president of policy and strategic alliances for the Association for Accessible Medicines (AAM) and the executive director of AAM’s Biosimilars Council.


Will biosimilars be utilized to the same degree as generics?

To answer your question as to whether we will see the same level of uptake for biosimilars that we've seen in the generic realm, I think the jury's still out. These are more complex products. They are more costly to manufacture. They do require a higher level of investment and I think, most importantly, they are not, per se, interchangeable. I'm sure you know that the 90% dispensing rate that currently occurs in the United States for generic products is basically predicated on their automatic substitutability, which is, of course, a byproduct of being interchangeable. With biosimilars, the interchangeability that is unique to the United States is a separate designation that has to be achieved. So, I don't think we'll see [fast biosimilar uptake]. Certainly not as rapidly [as generics]. It's a longer-term play, and we'll have to wait and see.