- Biosimilars are associated with approximately 20-30% savings, potentially giving medication access to poorer populations in parts of Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America for the first time.
- A Thomson Reuters Bioworld analysis finds that 245 biopharma organization are working on production of more than 700 biosimilars. Europe and India have been at work developing biosimilars for some time. South Korea is a leader in the field and the U.S. is catching up rapidly.
- The study warns that there is a steep learning curve for generics manufacturers, as well as the brand-name biologics firms, when it comes to producing biosimilars; however, there is widespread government and private investor support for the field, which should help move the process forward more rapidly.
BioPharma Dive has previously reported the many challenges associated with biosimilar development, including defining an approval pathway, permitting interchangeability, and coming up with a universal naming convention for biosimilars.
There are great strides being made as the first-ever biosimilar, Abrasia (a biosimlar of Sanofi's insulin product Lantus) was approved by the European EMA earlier this month, and tentatively approved under the name Basaglar in the U.S. in August.
It also helps that the WHO has proposed a voluntary global naming scheme that could very well level the playing field for biosimilars and their reference biologics. The takeaway: Biosimilars are very much here to stay.