Use of biosimilars in Europe differs across countries

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In Europe, the use of biosimilars exhibits different rates in different countries. This can lead to inequalities in access to biologicals, for instance, for the treatment of autoimmune diseases such as arthritis [1].

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Germany is still leading the way in its fast uptake of biosimilars, while France and the UK exhibit consistent uptake of biosimilars after launch. In fact, Germany has the highest use of biosimilars in Europe, with around 50% volume uptake [2]. However, despite initial cultural resistance, Italy and Spain are now catching up and increasing the uptake of biosimilars in the countries, see Figure 1 [3].

Figure 1: Biosimilar sales across the EU5

GW 1855G Fig 1

Source: IMS Health, MIDAS, MAT Dec 2013

The biosimilars market in the European Union 5 (EU5: France, Germany, Italy, Spain and UK) now stands at US$490 million, a massive increase since 2007 when the market for biosimilars had barely taken off. Filgrastim biosimilars are leading the way when it comes to market penetration, and almost resemble generic drugs in some countries, reaching market shares of 60–80% across the EU5.

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1. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Inequality in Europe over access to biologicals for arthritis []. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2014 Aug 8]. Available from:
2. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. UK biosimilars uptake lower than in some other EU countries []. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2014 Aug 8]. Available from:
3. Sheppard A. Biological/biotechnological and biosimilars market: the global outlook with special focus on Europe. 12th EGA International Biosimilar Medicines Conference; 3–4 April 2014; London, UK.

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