Biosimilars in 2021 and Beyond

Which medication category is currently expanding nearly as quickly as generics? Biosimilars.

Approvals from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for generic medications experienced strong growth in 2021, with 80+ first generics approved thus far. And the year is not quite over, so that number could go even higher. Generic medications offer the potential for significant cost savings for patients, as well as expanded choices for treatment plans. But generics are not the only way to save money; there’s also biosimilars.

Biosimilar medications are sometimes confused with generics. Generics are identical to brand-name drugs. Biosimilars are similar (but not identical) to an original biologic medication. However, like generics, biosimilars are safe and effective while also being a far less expensive option compared to brand-name medications.

Biosimilars tend to be large complex molecules manufactured in living systems that are almost, but not exactly, the same medication as the original biologic. Although the two medications will not be identical, in order to gain FDA approval, the biosimilar must have the same safety, purity, and potency and there can be no clinically meaningful differences in their uses.

In 2021, the FDA approved 31 new biosimilar medications. Each of these serve as high-quality alternatives for treatment, yet at a fraction of the cost for many patients. 

As always, BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy is ready to partner with your office as the ‘fast & easy’ way to get your patients referred for the specialty medications they need.