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Cost reductions due to biosimilars in Europe Posted 07/08/2015

Biosimilars have been approved in the European Union since 2006 in the classes of erythropoietin (EPO), human growth hormone (HGH), granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) and anti-tumour necrosis factor (anti-TNF).  Despite the fact that they have been in use since 2006, the prices for EPO, HGH and G-CSF classes of drugs in some countries have not reduced by as much as some might have expected. There is also a significant variation between different countries in Europe [1].

This variation is mostly attributed to differences in the healthcare systems between different countries. In some countries this can mean that therapy costs may not always have reduced after the introduction of biosimilars, see Figure 1.

Therapy costs in Europe in 2013 compared to 2006 have shown changes of -75% for EPO in Croatia to an incredible 600% increase in the cost of G-CSF therapy in Romania. In fact, despite Eastern European countries leading the way in biosimilars penetration, they have experienced some of the largest relative increases in the cost of biologicals therapy across Europe.

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1. Rickwood S. Perspectives on the evolving biosimilars landscape. 13th EGA-European Biosimilars Group Conference; 23–24 April 2015; London, UK.

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