BURLINGTON, Mass., Sept. 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources Group finds that prescribing of biosimilars is more widespread in France and Germany than in the United States, even though nearly one year after the launch of the first biosimilar, almost half of surveyed U.S. physicians, nearly all of which being oncologists, reported some level of biosimilar use. The future outlook for biosimilar uptake in the United States is promising, as payers seek to contain costs and reduce spending. Indicative of their desire, U.S. payers expect that within six months of biosimilar launch, at least half of their beneficiaries will be receiving a TNF-alpha biosimilar, a drug class for which even incremental price drops translate to meaningful cost reductions. While lower costs to payers, clinics and institutions are the key drivers for uptake according to physicians and payers, concerns about the efficacy and safety of biosimilars are the main barriers. To ease concerns surrounding biosimilar use, companies should conduct trials in multiple indications, enroll similar numbers of patients as in the brand's pivotal trials, and generate at least two years of positive postmarketing data.
- U.S. payers utilize a variety of strategies to drive uptake of Zarxio (Sandoz's filgrastim-sndz), including placing it on a more favorable tier than Neupogen (Amgen's filgrastim) and/or Granix (Teva's tbo-filgrastim), requiring a lower co-pay, or placing Zarxio ahead of Neupogen and Granix in step-therapy protocols.
- Surveyed physicians are resistant to pharmacy-level substitution of a branded agent with a biosimilar alternative; most would prevent substitution, at least initially and for some patients, representing another barrier for biosimilar uptake.
- The level of physician trust towards a biosimilar manufacturer is expected to significantly impact biosimilar uptake; the higher the level of trust, the greater the percentage of surveyed physicians reporting that they will prescribe the biosimilar to the majority of their patients.
Comments from Decision Resources Group Analysts Hamzah Aideed and Tom Hutchings:
- "Payer and physician attitudes and expectations of biosimilars differ across the European markets, and as such, to successfully market a biosimilar, or defend a branded agent from biosimilar competition, marketers will need to develop country-specific strategies."
- "Interestingly, despite surveyed U.S. payers expecting biosimilars to cost at least 25% less than the reference brand, the majority report that Zarxio is covered in their MCO plans, even though its perceived net cost is just 18% less than Neupogen."
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SOURCE Decision Resources Group