According to a recent report from IQVIA, the market for biosimilars, which mimic innovative biologics, is poised to grow this year. Since 2007, a total of 30 biosimilars based on 12 biologic molecules have been introduced in the U.S., and another 10 are expected to be launched this year. The IQVIA report forecasts cumulative sales of $129 billion in biosimilars for the period of 2023-2027.
The report details how the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009, which restricts the guaranteed exclusivity of large-molecule biologics to 12 years, has hastened the adoption of lower-cost biosimilars. Within three years, these biosimilars typically capture over 60% of the sales volume of the original molecule they mimic.
Biosimilar competition has already emerged for 14% of the $260 billion biologics market, indicating that more biologics are likely to face similar competition in the future. “Non-340B clinics have seen higher uptake of biosimilars than 340B clinics, likely due to reimbursement dynamics,” says IQVIA.
Biosimilars offer low-cost options
The availability of biosimilars often results in increased utilization of the corresponding molecule, as the lower cost makes it more accessible to patients. Nevertheless, the introduction of more innovative alternative treatments may cause a decrease in volume as patients transition to these newer-generation products, the report notes.
“With biosimilars seeing increasing acceptance in the U.S. and the scale of spending on medicines facing upcoming biosimilar competition growing, the impact on all stakeholders will be significant,” the report finds.
According to IQVIA, over the past decade, biosimilar spending totaling $36 billion resulted in a savings of $56 billion compared to the potential spending pre-biosimilars.
In the next five years, the approval of new biosimilars and the ongoing uptake and reduction in prices of existing biosimilars are anticipated to lead to a surge in savings. This surge is projected to surpass the savings of the previous five years, reaching $181 billion, which is more than four times the previous amount of $40 billion, the report reads.
“The most impactful biosimilars in the next five years—those referencing adalimumab—will first appear in early 2023 as a result of negotiated patent litigation settlements. As they reach the market, with eight already approved, patients will undoubtedly benefit from lower costs to receive the world’s current top-selling biopharmaceutical,” IQVIA says.