The first biosimilar medication was approved for use only seven years ago in 2015. Since then, the field of approved biosimilars has grown to 31 products. Biosimilar medications can be found in many therapeutic areas, including oncology, autoimmune conditions, and ophthalmology.
Biosimilars have been buzzing in the news lately, with the recent approval by the FDA for a biosimilar of Humira (adalimumab) as interchangeable in treating certain inflammatory diseases.
Getting medications to market is one hurdle, but whether they are covered by payers is another matter. A recent survey reports that about two-thirds of managed care stakeholders are covering at least some biosimilars. And even better? These stakeholders are reporting meaningful cost savings from their use.
When biosimilars are added to formularies, payers report meaningful cost savings. On the whole, biosimilars garner 20-30% in savings for payers.
This survey also reported that 35% of health plans, integrated delivery networks, and pharmacy benefit managers cover all available biosimilar medications, while the other 65% cover at least some biosimilars. Increasingly, patients stand to benefit from this increased medication choice and cost savings from biosimilars.
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