Dr Joseph Fuhr: Biosimilar Competition Can Yield Consumer Savings

May 30, 2017

Joseph P. Fuhr, Jr, PhD, professor emeritus, Widener University, sees value in stakeholder education about biosimilar products.

Joseph P. Fuhr, Jr, PhD, professor emeritus, Widener University, sees value in stakeholder education about biosimilar products.

Transcript (slightly modified)

How important is stakeholder education on biosimilars?

It is important to educate healthcare professionals and patients concerning biosimilars. For me, the most important would be the payers, who have the incentive to inform people about highly similar low-cost alternatives. Payers are the agents of subscribers. Also, physicians need to educate patients. So, consumers should gain through competition from biosimilars. The better educated the physicians are, the more they will be willing to prescribe biosimilars. Unless it is an interchangeable biologic, there will be automatic substitution at the pharmacy level. thus, biosimilars must be directly prescribed by physicians.

However, many biosimilars are physician or hospital-administered, in which case the physician will pick the drug they want. As long as physicians believe the products are highly similar and there are no clinical differences, they can benefit with bundling or value-based pricing by cutting costs and keeping some of the savings.

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