Julie M. Reed, executive director of the Biosimilars Forum, discusses how biosimilar savings vary between stakeholders and the importance of competition for making those savings.
How is the savings potential associated with increased biosimilar use different for health plans and patients?
That’s a nice question. I think it’s different who the stakeholder is. Cost savings are available for everyone. Now, what is really different is the responsibility of health plans. They can and should include all biosimilars in their formulas, and they should cover all biosimilars, and that will give patients and doctors access to all biosimilars.
That’s the key because what we know and our economic studies have shown is that the more biosimilars competing at the same time in the reference product, you see prices go down faster, you see you have greater cost savings. If you only have 1 biosimilar compared to all biosimilar and have equal access and coverage, you won’t see as strong competition as you can. Which, in turn, [leads to] the price decreased, the co-pay decreased, the prices of patients and so on.
So, that’s an important part up to the payers and their formulas, and Medicare, and the governments. They have a responsibility to promote and increase consumption of these cheaper products.