US prescription drug expenditure projection report

Biosimilars/General | Posted 03/06/2022 post-comment0 Post your comment

United States expenditure on pharmaceuticals was up in 2021, finds a report published in American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy [1]. It also highlights that increased uptake of biosimilars is allowing for healthcare savings yet overall spending on drugs in the US will increase by up to 6% in 2022.

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The report, that drew its data from the IQVIA National Sales Perspectives database, states that in 2021, US pharmaceutical expenditure grew by 7.7% to US$576.9 billion, relative to the previous year.

When it comes to biosimilars, the report found that spending on clinical biosimilars increased to US$5.3 billion in 2021 from US$4.3 billion in 2020. In addition, in community hospital settings, spending increased to US$1.1 billion from US$0.7 billion in 2020. Despite this, in community hospitals, the amount spent on three top drugs that now have biosimilar competition went down: spending on Rituxan (rituximab) was down by 23.1 %, Avastin (bevacizumab) by 18.3 %, and Remicade (infliximab) by 9.5%.

The report also notes that the clinical market share of many biosimilars increased significantly between 2020 and 2021, with Avastin biosimilars capturing 62.9% share compared to 35.6% in 2020; Rituxan biosimilars, 44.9% compared to 18.3%; and Herceptin biosimilars, were up to 63.2% compared to 35.7% in the previous year.

The report highlights that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decision to grant interchangeable designation for biosimilars of Lantus (insulin glargine) [2] and Humira (adalimumab) [3, 4], is likely to further drive biosimilars uptake in the future. With the interchangeable designation, pharmacies are permitted to dispense products in place of the originators prescribed. Due to patent issues, Humira biosimilars with this status will be available in the US in 2023 [4].

The report concludes that prescription drug spending is expected to continue to rise by up to 6% in 2022. Specialty and cancer care treatments will continue to drive expenditures but the uptake of biosimilars is acting to reduce some of the hole left by cancer treatment drug spending.

The authors also express confidence in recent US policy and legislation related to biosimilars, particularly when this concerns increasing knowledge and improving education on biosimilars, such as the Advancing Education on Biosimilars Act [5].

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The new section of the ‘Latin American Forum’ on GaBI has been launched. The objective of this new section is to provide you with all the latest news and updates on developments of generic and biosimilar medicines in Latin America in Spanish.

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1. Tichy EM, Hoffman JM, Suda KJ. National trends in prescription drug expenditures and projections for 2022. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2022;zxac102.
2. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. FDA approves first interchangeable insulin glargine biosimilar []. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2022 Jun 3]. Available from:
3. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. FDA approves adalimumab biosimilar Cyltezo as interchangeable []. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2022 Jun 3]. Available from:
4. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. FDA accepts application for interchangeability of adalimumab biosimilar Abrilada []. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2022 Jun 3]. Available from:
5. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. President Biden signs ‘Advancing Education on Biosimilars Act’ []. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2022 Jun 3]. Available from:

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