Matt Harman talks about what employers can do to help promote biosimilar adoption in the United States, during the World Biosimilar Congress USA 2020 at the Festival of Biologics USA in San Diego, California.
Matt Harman is the senior director of pharmacy at Employers Health.
What role can employer groups play in getting more biosimilars to market?
Employers can be a big advocate for biosimilars when you think about the number of lives that are covered by employers in this country, [it’s] 60% of lives. And I think we need to help unify that voice as part of our work at the coalition to get employers to have that unified message. So, [when] you think about how specialty spend is growing, employers want to continue to provide benefits to their employees. They can do things by contacting their legislators and then showing that there is a real need, because we don't want manufacturers of biosimilars to exit the market because of things like the patent thickets that have delayed the launch of medications. If you look at all our employers [there are] very high levels of adoption of strategies in the specialty space. Under the traditional space, maybe a lower adoption [rate] because they just don't see that large savings numbers, and the growing trends in specialty have them anxious for biosimilars. So, I think having things that can help promote biosimilar adoption, [such as] maybe having grassroots alert emails [using] those template emails that you get to contact your legislature. [You can] make it easy for an employer to [insert] their name and send to their legislator if there's particular biosimilar legislation that could be beneficial. I think that would be a good initiative for employers, because they're anxious and they want to continue to provide benefits to their employees without the rise in specialties spending getting in the way of that.