Manufacturers and the Cost of Biosimilars and Biologics

Amanda Forys, MSPH: So what if a manufacturer was sitting here and they said, “But hey Christy, I am providing "the As;" I’m giving the patient accessibility, so they might not want to be on the biosimilar because they might not think it’s effective, or they want to be on the biosimilar but still the biosimilar and the biologic originator were both very expensive, [and] neither one is on their formulary. I’m a program offering the patient that assistance,” what do you say to that manufacturer?

Christy M. Gamble, JD, DrPH, MPH: Well, that’s an interesting argument. I would definitely still say that we have to have a conversation about cost here. We have to make sure that we’re putting the patient first. We have to also make sure that we’re not bankrupting taxpayers while we’re trying to get patients these drugs. We want to make sure that patients get the most effective drug, but we also want to make sure that costs are controlled. That’s a discussion that we should be having versus whether or not this patient assistance program should be in existence or not. It’s in existence because of the sky-rocketing price of these drugs.

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