Biosimilars offer the opportunity for large cost savings, but differences between state laws as well as patient and prescriber concerns create challenges.
Patent protections for established biologic agents are expiring, creating an opportunity for the introduction of biosimilar agents. Biosimilars provide a lower-priced alternative to costly biologic agents, having the potential to produce major cost savings. The rules for interchanging biologic and biosimilar products may depend on local practice standards as well as individual state laws, and are subject to frequent changes. To complicate matters further, benefit plans and formulary committees have not yet fully determined the criteria for use of biosimilars.
PDI can help you overcome obstacles at the payer, physician, and patient level to realize the full potential of biosimilars.
PDI’s field-based medical sales representatives and inside medical sales representatives based in healthcare contact centers can address all physician concerns as well as assist with detailed knowledge of reimbursement and regulatory issues. Education targeted at pharmacists can address questions about interchangeability with and substitution for biologic agents, as well as concerns about compliance with applicable state laws.
Clinical health educators (CHEs) can help patients with chronic illnesses that are well controlled with branded prescriptions make the transition to biosimilars by addressing their concerns about equivalence with biologic agents and about the product variability of biosimilar agents.
Despite their undeniable potential as a cost-effective alternative, biosimilars come with a unique set of problems:
- Laws governing the use of biosimilars and their interchangeability with biologic agents exist in 23 states and Puerto Rico. The diversity of these laws is a large concern for pharmacists who dispense biosimilars
- Physicians and patients alike tend to doubt the efficacy and safety of biosimilars, and question the comparability of biosimilar to their biologic equivalents.
- Prescribers and patients require education to understand and feel comfortable with the viability of biosimilars in the healthcare treatment plan