The pendulum has swung back and forth on hormone replacement therapy. Bespoke and supposed more ‘natural’ hormone combinations put together by compounding pharmacists have become popular. Mainstream endocrinologists see compounding as risky, partly because the practitioners who prescribe it may not see the dangers.
Health care providers in the U.S. and Europe don’t know much about biosimilars, and what they think they know about them makes them wary, according to a review published recently in the Journal of Managed Care and Specialty Pharmacy.
A real-world study of Neupogen (filgrastim) and its biosimilars didn’t find any clinical differences between the reference product and its biosimilars. But the researchers didn’t find any real cost savings, either. They chalked up the lack of savings to when the study was done—the data are from 2012 to 2017—and biosimilar nascency.
Tinkering with reimbursement policies so providers have an incentive to prescribe biosimilars would help increase their acceptance. Two possible ways that commercial insurers can go about doing this are differential markup or fixed reimbursement.
There’s the pressure on price and market share when competing biosimilars come on the market and threaten your major moneymaker. On the other side, there’s the opportunity for developing and launching biosimilars in a bid to grab market share (and revenue) from the other guy’s “originator” biologic.
Biosimilars are saving money but not in the U.S., where companies have used a variety of stalling tactics. Now Pfizer and others are accusing Johnson & Johnson of withholding rebates to fend off biosimilar competition to Remicade.