Gary Lyman, MD, MPH: Biosimilar G-CSFs and the Cost of Care

Gary Lyman, MD, MPH, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, discusses how biosimilar granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) therapies have impacted cancer care.


Again, we're very early. The first biosimilar [granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, G-CSF] was approved just in recent years. We now have another biosimilar that was approved as an originator, tbo-filgrastim, and 2 true biosimilars in the [United States], the forms of filgrastim, and now just over the last few months approval of the long-acting filgrastim, pegfilgrastim, which has been available in Europe but now is also available in the [United States].

But this is brand new data. In fact, in many institutions, it isn’t even available yet as the drug gets distributed. So the only data that we have is from the filgrastim originator versus the filgrastim-sndz, which was approved a couple of years ago, and the data there suggest there's been rapid uptake of the biosimilar filgrastim; at least half, maybe two-thirds of the utilization of G-CSF in the United States has switched from the original drug to the biosimilar.

The impact on cost is more challenging, and again very preliminary data. But as I alluded to, perhaps showing around a 10% the 12% decrease in price over the first year or 2 of the use of the biosimilars.

One will expect (again, in Europe, they’ve seen this) with time and with more and more competition, more and more biosimilars, there will be further reductions in pricing, perhaps to the extent of a 20% to 30% decrease.

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