In recent years, biosimilars of epoetin alfa and filgrastim have been approved and launched in major markets. Uptake of these products among oncologists is increasing, driven by payers and regulatory organizations looking to reduce healthcare expenditure and deliver enhanced value for money. The recent launch of Zarxio – the first biosimilar to receive a marketing approval from the FDA – is a testament to the growing acceptance of biosimilars and a milestone for the US healthcare system. To secure a foothold in the exciting new market created by biosimilars, or defend against biosimilar erosion, manufacturers and marketers of reference brands and biosimilars need to understand the perceptions and expectations of oncologists. To this end, Decision Resources Group conducted extensive primary market research with medical oncologists and hematologist-oncologists in the United States and Europe to generate insights on a range of key topics; these include physician familiarity, preference and concerns relating to biosimilars, automatic substitution and switching, indication extrapolation, drivers and barriers to uptake, reimbursement and clinical data requirements. Based on this extensive market research, this report also provides highly granular, brand and biosimilar market forecasts across the seven major markets for biologics: the United States, EU5, and Japan.

Questions Answered in This Report:

  • European oncologists have had high exposure to biosimilars compared with other European specialists owing to the regulatory approval and availability of epoetin alfa and filgrastim biosimilars. How has the availability of epoetin alfa and filgrastim biosimilars affected the total volume (i.e., the volume of reference brands plus their respective biosimilars) that surveyed European oncologists have prescribed to their patients?

  • The attractiveness of the biosimilars market has enticed a variety of pharmaceutical companies to enter the space, ranging from large companies that have acquired or are in partnership with small-molecule generics companies marketing biosimilars in Europe (e.g., Pfizer/Hospira), to foreign biotechnology companies with no prior marketing experience in the United States or Europe (e.g., Celltrion). Which types of biosimilar manufacturers do oncologists trust the most and what are the implications in terms of their anticipated prescribing behavior?

  • Rituxan/MabThera and Herceptin are two of the top-selling oncology MAbs on the market and two of the most frequently targeted molecules by biosimilar developers. Assuming multiple rituximab/trastuzumab biosimilars are available, which attributes will oncologists consider most valuable when choosing among the multitude of biosimilar products?

  • Sandoz (Novartis) launched the first FDA-approved biosimilar, Zarxio (filgrastim-sndz), in September 2015. How rapidly do surveyed US oncologists expect to adopt filgrastim biosimilars and how will the net cost-saving offered affect the extent of uptake?


Markets covered: United States, EU5 (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and UK), Japan.

Primary research: Quantitative 45-minute online survey of 91 medical oncologists and 91 hematologist-oncologists from the United States, France, and Germany.

Author(s): Kate Keeping
Tom Hutchings

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