There are no consistent trends in biosimilar uptake by order of market entry, care setting, or pricing, finds a new study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine . In addition, biosimilar uptake is generally lower than that reported for generic drugs in the US.
The availability of insulin for the treatment of diabetes mellitus, a chronic disease that increases with age, and its financial sustainability are of general concerns, especially for universal healthcare systems, such as the Brazilian Unified Health System (Sistema Único de Saúde, SUS) . This is why similar biotherapeutic products (produtos bioterapêuticos similares, SBP) can be a cost reduction strategy in improving access to essential supplies for the population. These drugs demand less investment and acquisition cost .
Diverse policies have been implemented across Europe to support the rational prescribing of biologicals. Policies limiting the reimbursement of high-cost pharmaceuticals and applying prescription quotas for ‘best-value’ biologicals (BVB) have often been combined with educational campaigns about biosimilars and with benefit-sharing (gainsharing) initiatives [1, 2].
Biologicals have revolutionized patient care across several therapeutic areas but are associated with significantly higher costs to patients and healthcare systems. Biosimilars offer the opportunity to reduce drug spending without compromising patient care. Medication utilization management (UM), a formulary management methodology, can be used to facilitate the adoption of biosimilars. Author Sophia Humphreys describes an innovative and strategic biosimilar adoption programme that was developed and implemented at Providence St Joseph Health . Providence is a large integrated health system including 53 hospitals, 1,085 clinics and an annual drug spend of >US$1.2 billion.
Several surveys have shown that challenges for patient acceptance of biosimilars include patients’ concerns of quality, safety, and efficacy [1-3], however, there has been lacking more in-depth knowledge of the patient perspective and the underlying rationales for such perspective. Therefore and considering Denmark has one of the highest biosimilar uptakes , Varma et al.  investigated how Danish patients with psoriasis, arthritic diseases, or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) perceived biosimilars.
Japanese physicians regularly request information on quality, efficacy, safety and cost burden to the patient when adopting or prescribing biosimilars, demonstrates a recent survey . Higher biosimilars uptake may be achievable if such information was made more accessible and digestible.
Innovent and Eli Lilly have announced final clinical results for their sintilimab plus bevacizumab biosimilar injection, which has been accepted by China’s National Medical Products Administration (NMPA).
Avsola (ABP 710) is a biosimilar to the infliximab reference product (Remicade), a monoclonal antibody targeting tumour necrosis factor-alfa. Avsola is approved in the US and Canada for all the same indications as Remicade, including adult and paediatric Crohn’s disease (CD), ulcerative colitis (UC), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis and plaque psoriasis [1, 2]. Infliximab is a highly efficacious treatment for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes CD and UC. The totality of evidence (TOE) supporting the development and approval of ABP 710 was recently reviewed .
Marín-Jiménez I et al. published in April 2021 a report based on a survey that was launched in Spain between June and November 2020 among hospital pharmacists and specialty physicians (dermatology, rheumatology, gastroenterology) to analyse knowledge, perceptions, attitude, barriers and facilitators of biosimilars uptake. Response rate was close to 100%.
Amgen has announced positive results from a phase III trial of its ustekinumab biosimilar, ABP 654. The trial met its primary endpoint, demonstrating no clinically meaningful differences with the originator product, Stelara.