July 3, 2022


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It’s True: Biosimilars Save Money for Medicare – MedPage Today


Biosimilars were touted as an important answer to the problem of soaring drug costs, but whether they’ve had a genuine, measurable impact in the U.S. hasn’t been obvious. Now, two researchers analyzing Medicare Part B spending on biologic drugs have come up with proof, or at least some hard dollar figures approaching it.

After biosimilar competitors came on the market in four product categories — infliximab, filgrastim, pegfilgrastim, and epoetin alfa — monies paid to providers for standardized doses had all declined as of 2019, according to Emma Boswell Dean, PhD, of the University of Miami, and Amelia M. Bond, PhD, of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, writing in JAMA Health Forum.

In particular, they calculated the following annual average declines in Medicare Part B spending following introduction of biosimilars:

  • Infliximab: -7%
  • Filgrastim: -13%
  • Pegfilgrastim: -1%
  • Epoetin alfa: -13%

Although prices for biosimilars were lower than for originator drugs in these categories, that was only partly responsible for the overall effect. “Declines in Medicare spending after biosimilar entry came from a range of sources: biosimilar prices and market share drove filgrastim declines, originator prices drove infliximab and epoetin alfa declines, and biosimilar market share drove pegfilgrastim declines,” Dean and Bond wrote.

In each case, their data showed that Part B spending per dose was increasing in the years prior to biosimilar product launches, but then either stabilized or declined. (In …….

Source: https://www.medpagetoday.com/publichealthpolicy/healthpolicy/94555