Impact of biosimilar competition in Europe in 2021

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A study of 23 European biosimilar markets has found that biologicals are an increasingly important component of pharmaceutical expenditure, due to their efficacy as treatments for complex conditions.

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The report, which was carried out by data analysis firm IQVIA at the request of the European Commission, consists of observations on competitive markets, and explores the impact of biosimilar competition in Europe by discussing the following five key observations:

1. COVID-19: The pandemic has impacted certain segments of the biologicals market
2. Savings: The savings from biosimilar competition have reached an all-time high
3. Access: Development of access to biologicals remains challenging
4. Competition: The competitive environment in Europe is changing
5. Future: Ensuring preparedness for future biosimilar opportunity

In 2021, biologicals represent 34% of spending on medicine in Europe at list prices, reaching €8.8 billion in 2021, and growing at a 10.5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the past five years. This compares to a 5.1% CAGR for the total market comprising small molecules, biologicals and biosimilars competitors. It is therefore critical to healthcare system sustainability to ensure that the impact of biosimilar competition is managed effectively.

In the following series of five articles how COVID-19 has impacted certain segments of the biologicals market, how savings from biosimilars have reached an all-time high, how development of access to biologicals remains challenging, how biosimilar competition in Europe is changing and how to ensure preparedness for future biosimilar opportunities are presented in more detail.

Conflict of interest
The authors of the report [1] did not provide any conflict-of-interest statement.

Editor’s comment
Readers interested to learn more about policies that might encourage biosimilar competition are invited to visit to view the following manuscript published in GaBI Journal:

Local policies on biosimilars: are they designed to optimize use of liberated resources?

Can local policies on biosimilars optimize the use of freed resources – experiences from Italy

GaBI Journal is indexed in Embase, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index and more.

Readers interested in contributing a research or perspective paper to GaBI Journal – an independent, peer reviewed academic journal – please send us your submission here.

Related articles
Preparing for future biosimilar opportunities

How biosimilar competition in Europe is changing

Developing access to biologicals remains challenging

Savings from biosimilars reached an all-time high in 2021

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on biologicals


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1. Troein P, Newton M, Scott K, et al. The impact of biosimilar competition in Europe: December 2021. IQVIA.

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