New Data Shows PBMs Blocking Patient Access to Biosimilar Insulin Despite Growing Demand

Monday July 17, 2023

Washington, D.C. (July 17, 2023) – The Biosimilars Council today released new data tracking the adoption trend of biosimilar insulin, comparing the interchangeable biosimilar Semglee and its unbranded version to the brand reference product. The findings, based on data analyzed by IQVIA on behalf of the Biosimilars Council, show that while biosimilar insulin products have experienced growth in certain markets, PBMs are denying patients access to biosimilars.

Key findings from the report:

  • The brand insulin retains nearly 80% of total prescription volume in Q1 2023 and 54% of new prescriptions.
  • Semglee and unbranded Insulin Glargine have seen growth in Medicare from 3% and 6% in March 2022 to 6% and 31% market share, respectively.
  • Although 6 out of 10 new prescriptions were written for the biosimilar, payer controls have limited biosimilar adoption. In fact, less than 1 of every 5 new prescriptions for biosimilar insulin glargine was filled by the biosimilar.
  • With parity access, the biosimilars would have achieved more than two-thirds of all new prescriptions in the commercial market and 60% market share of new prescriptions in the Medicare market.

“Biosimilar insulins are achieving greater market share, but persistent barriers, like rebate-driven formulary placement, restrict patient access to these lower-cost treatments,” said Craig Burton, Executive Director of the Biosimilars Council. “The evidence is clear that biosimilar competition lowers drug prices for patients, so we should promote, not impede, greater competition in the insulin market and other biosimilar markets. Congress must act to eliminate the anti-competitive barriers hindering biosimilar access.”


Susan Reilly


About the Biosimilars Council

The Biosimilars Council, a division of the Association for Accessible Medicines, works to ensure a positive environment for patient access to biosimilar medicines. The Biosimilars Council is a leading source for information about the safety and efficacy of more affordable alternatives to costly brand biologic medicines. Areas of focus include public and health expert education, strategic partnerships, government affairs, legal affairs and regulatory policy. More information is available at

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