Kashyap Patel, MD, medical oncologist at Carolina Blood and Cancer Care, discusses the value that biosimilars bring to the health system.
What value do biosimilars bring to our healthcare system?
The first thing we have to do is to educate providers, payers, and patients, about what biosimilars are and what the benefits are. One clear benefit we see for the payer is the cost savings. To the patients, it’s their out-of-pocket costs; if the patient has to pay 20% out of pocket, for the cost of care, biosimilars will definitely reduce their out-of-pocket costs when they are used. For the providers, of course, if you’re in the alternate payment model space, and if you have an alternative that is equally effective and less expensive, it helps me to bring down my top price.
So in the European experience, you go back to Sweden and England, the health systems increased uptake and utilization of biosimilars, which indicates that when the price goes down, the access improves. This is very obviously starting the financial toxicity model. So biosimilars do have a place in improving access to drugs as well.