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Global Use of Medicines Report Predicts Biosimilars Will Save $290 Billion by 2027


IQVIA’s Global Use of Medicines Report for 2023 has revealed increased uptake of biosimilars around the world and predicted that biosimilars could generate nearly $300 billion in savings by 2027.

In IQVIA’s Global Use of Medicines Report for 2023, biosimilars were projected to generate $290 billion in savings around the world through 2027, which is lower than originally predicted, highlighting the need for policies that foster wider utilization of these products.

“COVID-19 continues to have an impact on pharmaceutical markets globally…. However, there are significant uncertainties in the years ahead with the transition of the global COVID-19 pandemic to a new phase where vaccines and therapeutics are available but are used inconsistently,” said Murry Aitken, senior vice president and executive director of the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science and an author of the report, in a statement.

Overall, global medicine spending, meaning the amount spent purchasing medicines from a manufacturer before discounts and rebates, is expected to increase 3% to 6% per year through 2027, when it is projected to reach $1.9 trillion. Spending in Europe is expected to increase by $59 billion through 2027, with a focus on generics and biosimilars. The pandemic has had varying impact on countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region, but steady growth was projected after 2021. The main key drivers of spending growth include the contribution of new products, the effects of patent expiries, and the market introduction and increased uptake of biosimilars.

The report predicted that spending in North America will slow over the next 5 years as a result of the “relatively smaller contribution from new products” and the impact of several blockbuster reference products losing patent protections, including Humira (adalimumab) and Stelara (ustekinumab). The impact of market exclusivity losses is projected to increase to $140.8 billion over 5 years.

Dramatic volume uptake is possible with the approval of interchangeable adalimumab and insulin biosimilars and the upcoming launches of up to 10 adalimumab biosimilars throughout 2023.

Questions remain around the relationship of interchangeability, alternative originator formulations, and the commercial and negotiating strategies of stakeholders, which could dramatically increase or reduce the impact of these biosimilar events,” the authors wrote.

The report also pointed out portions of the Inflation Reduction Act that are expected to have an impact on medicine pricing and cost-sharing among beneficiaries in the United States, including a new drug inflation rebate policy, a redesign of Medicare Part D benefits, allowing Medicare to directly negotiate drug prices with manufacturers, and a maximum $35 out-of-pocket cost for insulins for patients enrolled in Medicare Part B or Part D plans.

Global spending in biotechnology is anticipated to exceed $660 billion by 2017, with a slowing growth rate of 7.5% to 10.5% attributed to savings from biosimilar utilization. Global savings from biosimilars will reach $383 billion between 2023 and 2027, reaching an annual savings of $100 billion in 2026 and 2027, when some of the reference products with the largest spending will have several years of well-developed biosimilar competition.

“Incremental usage of biologic therapies has been observed in periods after biosimilar entry, and this is expected to be particularly important in lower-income countries, but the largest savings will still be focused on developed markets, which already have very high levels of usage and spending on the originator versions of these medicines,” the authors noted.

Spending Across Specialties

By therapeutic area, immunology, oncology, and diabetes will see the most impact on spending as a result of biosimilar competition.

Global oncology spending is projected to reach $370 billion by 2017, with a slow growth rate of 13% to 16% as new medicines are offset by biosimilar competition. However, spending in this field is expected to increase by $184 billion by 2027, a 95% upsurge, partly because relatively few biosimilars are expected in oncology until later in the decade, when drugs like Ibrance (palbociclib) lose market exclusivity.

The spending in the immunology field will experience a slowed growth rate of 3% to 6% through 2027 due to biosimilars, which could see a 12% annual growth rate in this space. Although spending will likely grow by 24% by 2027, amounting to $34 billion, more than half of current immunology spending will face generic or biosimilar competition in the next 5 years.

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