Readers Believe Biosimilars Will Be Effective Against Costs

Whether biosimilars can turn the tide of rising pharmaceutical expenditures is yet to be seen, but MANAGED CARE readers are optimistic about their chances. In an online survey of readers conducted in late January and early February, 20% of the 113 respondents indicated that they believe that biosimilars will be highly effective in lowering drug costs, and the reader ratings of their effectiveness skewed positive. There was slightly less belief in their effect on overall health care spending, with 16% indicating that biosimilars would be highly effective in blunting overall spending. On a scale of one to seven with seven being extremely effective, the respondents’ ratings averaged out at 4.2.

In keeping with the expectations that biosimilars will influence costs, more than half of the respondents said the FDA and other regulatory agencies should be extremely active in encouraging the introduction and use of biosimilars, and 36% indicated that biosimilars should be interchangeable with their branded counterparts. Interchangeable means that a pharmacist can substitute the biosimilar for the branded product without the involvement of the prescribing physician. The respondents saw interchangeability regulations as the most important factor in determining the size of the biosimilar market

This reader survey was conducted by MediMedia Research, a unit of MediMedia Managed Markets, which owns MANAGED CARE.