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Comparison of uptake and prices of biosimilars in the US, Germany, and Switzerland

Carl, David L., Laube, Yannic, Serra-Burriel, Miquel, Naci, Huseyin, Ludwig, Wolf Dieter and Vokinger, Kerstin N. (2022) Comparison of uptake and prices of biosimilars in the US, Germany, and Switzerland. JAMA network open, 5 (12). ISSN 2574-3805

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Identification Number: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.44670


Importance: Biologics account for a substantial proportion of health care expenditures. Their costs have been projected to reach US $452 billion in global spending by 2022. Given recent expiration of patent protection of biologics, a shift toward greater follow-on competition among biosimilars would be expected that would allow greater uptake and lower drug costs. Objective: To assess uptake and prices of biosimilars in the US compared with 2 European countries (Germany and Switzerland) with national mechanisms for drug price negotiation. Design, Setting, and Participants: In this cohort study, biologics and biosimilars that were approved in the US, Germany, and Switzerland until August 2020 were identified. Prices and sales data were extracted from public and commercial databases for the years 2011 to 2020. Data were analyzed from August 1, 2021, to February 28, 2022. Main Outcomes and Measures: Descriptive statistics were used to show temporal trends in the uptake of biosimilars and relative prices compared with those of reference products (ie, biologic agents) for each country. Descriptive analysis was also performed to compare the uptake of biosimilars between the 3 countries limited to biologics that have biosimilars on the market in all countries. To test if biosimilar awareness in each country increased over the last decade, a linear least squares regression was applied. Results: The study cohort included 15 biosimilars and 6 biologics for the US, 52 biosimilars and 15 biologics for Germany, and 28 biosimilars and 13 biologics for Switzerland. Uptake of biosimilars increased over time in all countries. On average, the biosimilar market share at launch was highest in Germany; however, it increased at the fastest rate in the US. Monthly treatment costs of biosimilars in the US were a median of 1.94 (IQR, 1.78-2.44) and 2.74 (IQR, 1.91-3.46) higher than corresponding costs in Germany and Switzerland, respectively. Conclusions and Relevance: The findings of this cohort study suggest that more biosimilars have been marketed in Germany and Switzerland than in the US. Policies that counter anticompetitive practices in the US could allow biosimilars to enter the market sooner and could also lower health care costs with improved access. Awareness of biosimilars should be promoted to increase uptake of biosimilars globally.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2022 The Authors
Divisions: Health Policy
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2022 17:30
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2024 03:36

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