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4 Things You Need To Know About Biosimilars | Whateven
4 Things You Need To Know About Biosimilars

By: @christinaw


Companies in the biosimilars market find themselves faced with rising competition and declining prices. In the next few years, many more companies with branded biologics will find themselves facing expiring patents, with the biosimilars market set for continual growth in both the EU and US. It is estimated that by 2020, biosimilar sales will potentially have tripled in size. The US market will offer opportunities, and the European market is likely to mature with barriers to biosimilars decreasing over time. It Does seem likely that on both sides of the Atlantic, the increased biosimilar competition will intensify which will result in increased price pressure, creating challenges for both branded manufacturers and biosimilar companies.

1.Market Development

Sales of biosimilars from European companies are on the increase; it is acknowledged that they on equal footing to patented drugs when it comes to safety, immunogenicity and efficacy. Since 2017 the market which consisted of 36 approved biosimilars has increased with the addition of at least a further five new reference biologics. These additions include high-value molecules – adalimumab and trastuzumab. Some areas including the UK and the Nordic countries are especially active, with around 70-80% of their markets in early 2018 being made up of biosimilar. However, progress across the region is not at all even. The uptake of some biosimilars is much slower e.g. in Italy and Spain than others e.g. Nordics, UK and Germany. It is likely that lower levels of awareness of the comparable efficacy and safety are responsible for the weaker demand of biosimilars and the decreased power of the payer over physician prescribing in some markets.

2.Competition And Pricing

Because of the dual and related impacts that have occurred due to discounts in price and the competition, the biologicsmarket is under pressure. This is a trend that started in the Nordic countries and has spread into some of Europe. Huge discountsof 70-80% are being offered by drug companies with huge variations observed from one country to another and even within the same country as a result of regional tendering.

Buyers are becoming savvier. They frequently coordinate tenders in order to increase the levels of competition between various suppliers, and they also facilitate switching using sturdy education initiatives or trials and experience that exists in the market. New entrants to the market are starting out with aggressive pricing to compete. Despite all of this there is not very much indication that there will be a slowing down in the pervasive discounting anytime soon, quite the opposite. The dominance of larger high-value molecules means it is more likely to increase.

3.Prices Compared To Value

For the success of any biosimilar product, pricing is a critical factor. As a manufacturer optimises their process, the more leverage they create within their commercial budget. This helps them to not only improve their position amongst the competition but also to grow the business or highlight the differences between products (this has already been seen with those chronic diseases that need self-injection).

When it comes to infiltration, pricing has a rather direct impact. It is important to consider the pricing of your products, and any competitors comparable products on the market before launching your own and ensuring that you price it accordingly. Market access training can be a valuable asset to companies who are just starting to look at how they should be pricing their products for this highly competitive market.

4.Agile Go-To-Market Strategies

Biosimilars are part of an environment that is intensely competitive, and this means that they are evolving into organisations that are specialised and incredibly technical. Earlier generations of biosimilars were less complex and were tested and launched in a clinical and analytical environment that was much less restrictive. Because of this, companies should incorporate agile capabilities. They need to be able to make bold decisions on where they should invest and how they should create a commercial footprint.


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