RAND study: Biosimilars could save US $44 billion in 10 years
- A new report by the think tank the RAND Corporation finds that using biosimilar versions of popular biologic drugs could save the U.S. health system $44 billion over the next decade.
- The study authors note that many of the most-used drugs in America are biologics for conditions ranging from cancer to rheumatoid arthritis, and that spending on this drug sector has ballooned at a faster rate than for meds in general.
- The researchers assumed biosimilar market penetration of 60% over the next decade, netting $44.2 billion savings, or 4% of total biologics sales over that period.
"The emergence of biosimilar drugs has the potential to create significant savings for the nation's health care system," said lead study author Andrew Mulcahy. "However, the magnitude of savings will depend on a number of factors, including forthcoming decisions from the FDA."
That last part is an understatement. As BioPharma Dive has previously reported, the FDA has a long way to go in defining a comprehensive approval pathway, sketching out the requirements of "interchangeability," and even determining a universal naming convention for biosimilars. Currently, biosimilar versions of Sanofi's insulin Lantus have been cleared in Europe and the U.S. (where they are being marketed as Abrasia and Basaglar, respectively).
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