Steven D'Amato, RPh: Adoption of Biosimilars

Steven D’Amato, RPh, executive director and clinical pharmacy specialist at New England Cancer Specialists, explains the factors that he feels will impact adoption of biosimilars.


Do you see biosimilars being used more in the future?

The use of biosimilars coming to the market will be challenging. As you know, biosimilars take a lot of research and development to develop the biosimilar, so the cost savings are probably not going to be as dramatic as some people may expect. I think biosimilars will have a challenge when going up against the branded product. The reason I say that is, number 1, they’ll have to be, certainly, price-advantaged to switch to a biosimilar from a branded product, but there are other things that go into product delivery, and that can be patient assistance programs. I believe that biosimilars will have to have the same programs in place as the brands do for people to embrace their products and bring them on board.

I would say that certainly the clinical data that we’ll review will solidify our use of the biosimilars—I think they’ll be used—[but] I think there’s going to be a price break point that we [will] need to achieve widespread adoption of biosimilars. I think you’re going to need to have really significant cost reductions for practices to switch to biosimilars, and we’ll have to see where that goes.