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Julie Reed: When the US Could See Meaningful Savings From Adalimumab, Ranibizumab Biosimilar Competition


Juliana (Julie) Reed, executive director of the Biosimilars Forum, predicts how long it will take for savings from adalimumab and ranibizumab biosimilar competition to fully manifest and how stakeholders can champion for better market competition for biosimilars.

Unless pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) stepping up to support biosimilars and provide broad access to these lower-cost products, the promised savings from ranibizumab and adalimumab biosimilars are going to develop slowly and a healthy competitive marketplace will be in jeopardy, said Juliana (Julie) Reed, executive director of the Biosimilars Forum, in an interview from Asembia 2023.


Although anticipated savings related to adalimumab and ranibizumab biosimilars are expected to develop over a long period of time, how long do you think the US will have to wait to see big price changes, and what needs to happen to ensure ample competition between products?

So I think that we could see immediate savings if the PBMs [pharmacy benefit managers] changed their model—they embrace biosimilars, they embrace competition, and they moved towards providing that and providing access. Otherwise, the savings will be slow. And it's not because [the Forum's] members did not develop or take all this time. If we have [9] biosimilars to Humira [adalimumab] is launching at 10 years of development, that's [90] years of development, and over $2 billion spent. And that's the concern—that all this time, these years, and all this money but PBMs won't provide access, and I mean preferred access. They need to support the industry. They need to support the competition.

IQVIA and other economists have said that we could see close to $155 billion in savings by 2025. That's 2 years from now and that has a lot to do with those biosimilars launching. Those are real numbers and there's concern that those savings will not be realized. And I think the question will be why? Because we certainly we developed the biosimilars and we're bringing them to the marketplace, and we know they're safe and efficacious and approved by the FDA. So if we don't achieve those savings, the question is why, and we know that it's because we don't have access to the market and we're not able to compete.

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