With increasing attention being paid to healthcare costs, many are looking to biosimilars to help provide affordable alternatives to formerly expensive medicines for consumers. Citigroup estimates that biosimilars could take $110 billion in market share by 2025, and some prescription benefit managers like Express Scripts have already signaled their intent to adopt early, citing $250 billion in potential savings for patients in the next decade. Not to be outdone, many of the traditional biopharmaceuticals are developing biosimilars of their own in a bid to outflank competitors on their home turfs.
What is less clear is how accurate these rosy predictions will be. There is certainly a vast untapped potential to be had, but physicians and specialists polled by QualitaMD reported only a 78% familiarity with the term “biosimilar,” and only 38% could name a biosimilar currently being considered by the FDA for approval that they would consider prescribing for their patients. As well, there may be resistance to adoption of new therapies without clear data showing equal or greater performance than the original therapy. Still, biosimilars are poised to make an immediate impact on the U.S. market, just as they have in Europe, India, and Australia. How much of an impact is anyone’s guess.