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Vizient Report Emphasizes Biosimilar Successes, Impact of Inflation on Drug Spend


Vizient’s most recent Pharmacy Market Outlook report showcased the success of biosimilars while also emphasizing the impact of inflation on different drug classes, particularly in oncology and immunology.

data | Image credit: apinan - stock.adobe.com

Image credit: apinan - stock.adobe.com

With 46 FDA-approved products across 14 molecules, biosimilars have now contributed to almost 700 million additional patient days over the last 8 years, according to Vizient’s Pharmacy Market Outlook report for Winter 2024.

The report noted the $23.6 billion—$9.4 billion of which is from 2022 alone—in savings biosimilars generated since 2015, highlighting the potential for biosimilars to provide more affordable treatment options for patients and reduce health care costs. Additionally, the report found that biosimilars account for 24.93% of spend and have a 0.55% inflation rate.

Despite numerous approvals, a significant portion of originator biologic products are still protected by exclusivity, impacting market access and competition. The report also delved into various biosimilar market trends such as lower purchase prices, pricing and market share dynamics, dual wholesale acquisition cost pricing practices as seen in the adalimumab space, selective pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) formulary coverage, and higher reimbursement and rebate incentives. These trends played crucial roles in shaping the adoption and success of biosimilars in the pharmaceutical market.

“Gone are the days when the role of pharmacy was limited to dispensing and medication management functions. Now, oversight for pharmacy teams extends across all dimensions of healthcare and involves complex decision-making, impacting all aspects of clinical practice. The role of pharmacy now helps meet regulatory and risk management requirements, along with creating new revenue streams that help improve hospital margins overall while giving patients and physicians more choices,” Dan Kistner, PharmD, group senior vice president of blood, lab, and pharmacy solutions at Vizient, wrote.

In 2023, all eyes were on adalimumab products, with the launches of 9 adalimumab biosimilars throughout the year. While the originator (Humira) remained dominant in the market (99% market share), biosimilar adalimumab products were projected to gain market share in 2024 as PBMs finalized their formulary strategies.

Expected to debut in 2024 are biosimilars for tocilizumab (Tofidence) and natalizumab (Tyruko). A bio-improved subcutaneous infliximab product (Zymfentra) is also expected to launch this year. The authors said that the utilization of these offerings has the potential to counteract the ongoing rise in expensive biologic medications entering the market.

Other Findings

The report highlighted several key therapeutic classes. In addition to biosimilars, the classes with the highest spend portion were autoimmune and inflammatory (20.95%) and oncology (22.54%), the latter of which accounted for $196 billion in global spending in 2022.

Despite accounting for a small spend portion (0.41%), radiopharmaceuticals had the highest inflation rate (10.36%), followed by neurology (4.60%), infectious disease (4.05%), oncology (3.89%), pediatrics (3.65%), and plasma care (3.63%).

Dermatology saw the addition of bimekizumab for plaque psoriasis, with more treatments expected in 2024. Gastroenterology approvals included mirikizumab and etrasimod for ulcerative colitis, along with upcoming launches of subcutaneous formulations and biosimilars. Vedolizumab for subcutaneous injection was approved, with a projected market shift by 2027. The financial impact of this shift will depend on factors like distribution channels and potential cost savings.

Global spending on oncology medications surged to $196 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach $375 billion by 2027. This increase, estimated at 12% to 15%, correlates with the anticipation of over 100 new molecular entities entering the market, alongside the shifting of medication indications to earlier lines of therapy. Recent approvals include 2 additional bi-specific T-cell engagers for relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma, complementing existing treatments like chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy.

Furthermore, numerous oral antineoplastics, such as quizartinib for acute myeloid leukemia and momelotinib for myelofibrosis, have been approved, adding to the expansive array of available treatments.


Winter 2024 pharmacy market outlook. Vizient. February 2024. Accessed February 6, 2024. https://info.vizientinc.com/pharmacy-market-outlook-winter-2024?utm_source=newsroom&utm_medium=internal&utm_campaign=24-SM-PMOW&_gl=1*1frcusd*_gcl_au*ODQ5MTc2MDg0LjE3MDQyMjk4Mjg.*_ga*MTU2MDkxNzEzNS4xNzA0MjI5ODI4*_ga_TM3JWCXTQX*MTcwNjYzNTY4OS4yLjAuMTcwNjYzNTY4OS42MC4wLjA

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