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Biosimilars market and opportunities in Europe Posted 17/05/2019


How the biosimilars market in Europe has changed and what opportunities for biosimilars exist for the near term in the region is being reviewed by Murray Aitken in this article [1].

The share of the European Union’s biologicals market that is subject to competition from biosimilars has increased from 9% back in 2013 to 29% in 2018. The number of molecules facing competition has also increased, with 14 molecules, worth a staggering Euros 49.9 billion of the biologicals market in 2018 facing competition from biosimilars, compared to Euros 31.7 billion in 2013, see Figure 1.

Figure 1: Biologicals facing competition from biosimilars

Patient use of biologicals has generally increased following the introduction of biosimilars. Therefore, it makes sense that uptake rates for biosimilars across EU5 (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK) has also generally increased with each subsequent launch. In addition, list and net prices for biologicals (including the originator version) have also fallen following introduction of biosimilars. For example, in Germany, following the introduction of three infliximab biosimilars, the net versus list discounts were: Biosimilar 1, 24%; Biosimilar 2, 30%; Biosimilar 3, 24% and originator 62%. For rituximab, following the introduction of two biosimilars in Germany, the net versus list discounts were: Biosimilar 1, 9%; Biosimilar 2, 7% and originator 16%.

However, despite these positives, the challenge for the future is that fewer new blockbuster biologicals will become available for biosimilar competition over the next five years compared to in the last five years, see Figure 2.

Figure 2: Near-term new biosimilar opportunities

Conflict of interest
The author of the presentation [1] did not provide any conflict of interest statement.

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1. Aitken M. Advancing long-term biosimilar sustainability in Europe: the challenges ahead. Medicines for Europe 17th Biosimilar Medicines Conference; 28-29 March 2019; Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

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