Sheila Frame: Biosimilars and Cost Reductions for Patients

Sheila Frame, vice president and head of biopharmaceuticals, North America, at Sandoz, discusses when patients will see their costs reduced as a result of biosimilars.


Well, it's an immediate opportunity for cost savings. I think from a contracting perspective, as we come into the marketplace, the minute any organization chooses a biosimilar as either a first-line treatment or a second-line treatment or converts from the originator product, then the patient should be seeing those savings immediately.

But, as you know in the US marketplace, transparency isn't necessarily something that everybody's able to get to, right? We can see it, because we contract directly, but the way the US system evolved over time, for lots of good reasons, there's so many people in the middle where the product actually goes through these middlemen, then everyone kind of takes their share. By the time it gets to the patient, it's a $25 copay or it's a $50 copay or it's a deductible.

So I believe that the more transparency that we can bring to the system overall, then the sooner patients are going to see the value and benefit from it.

So, because we have this great evidence now to suggest that biosimilars are just as good from an efficacy and safety perspective, then I think patients are going to be willing to take them on and say, hey, I want to make sure that I get access and that I get access at a fair price and that the system benefits from these products once they're available.