Savings Could Be Significant if Barriers to Biosimilars Are Removed
June 18, 2018
Removing market and regulatory barriers holding back the increased use of biosimilars could result in significant health care savings, according to a new study from the Pacific Research Institute.
“Impediments to a Stronger Biosimilars Market: An Infliximab Case Study” illustrates how increasing the use of biosimilars for Remicade (infliximab; Janssen Biotech, Inc.) could benefit patients, employers, and taxpayers. Infliximab is a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blocker used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, chronic severe plaque psoriasis, and active psoriatic arthritis.
The case study concludes that reforms could yield an annual savings of between $412 million and $465 million, just for increasing the use of biosimilars for one drug alone. For example:
- Annual per-patient savings between Remicade and the biosimilar would range from $2,100 to $4,400.
- If biosimilars grew to become 50% of the infliximab market, annual cost reductions for employer-sponsored health plans would be as high as 8.4%—a savings between $262 million and $315 million.
- Savings to taxpayers through lower Medicare costs from utilizing biosimilars could be as high as 8.1%, or $150 million in savings annually.