Peter Jørgensen, director of the Industrial Association for Generic and Biosimilar Medicines, Denmark, discusses whether the Danish biosimilars market is sustainable.
Whenever you have something that is really a huge success, you always pause for a second and think, “Can this really continue? Where are the clouds from the horizon?” Now, with the introduction of the first 4 blockbusters in Denmark, where we have replaced them completely with biosimilars, we have saved 6%, 7%, 8% of the total Danish hospital budget with 4 products.
But as we all know, there are not that many more blockbusters just around the corner. When you come to smaller biologic medicines, smaller products, if you will, of course you can still save money, but the interest may not be quite the same. The key here to continue to save a lot of money is that you have enough players in the Danish area. We have a tender system in Denmark, which is very efficient in keeping down prices.
But we also know that, if you have a system that keeps down prices, then companies might think twice about whether they want to be on the Danish market. Denmark is less than 6 million inhabitants. Just take Germany, which is just around the corner. We have a common border with the Germans. They are about 80 million people. So it’s a much larger market. You could be concerned, will pharmaceutical companies stay on the Danish market when prices are that low?
Maybe, to be quite honest, the uptake has been a little bit too high, a little bit too quickly, and the rebates have been a little bit too high as well. Because what we want to have is not just success now, but we want to have success also for the future, for the good of the patients, for the good of the economy. In order to do that, you need to create a sustainable market in the long run, and I’m not quite convinced we are there yet. But it has certainly been a good start.