Today, a coalition of over twenty stakeholders, including the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, CVS Health and the National Consumers League, submitted a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar calling for the elimination of cost-sharing for Medicare Part B patients when their provider administers a biosimilar.
Biosimilar medicines represent new hope for more affordable access to therapy for patients. Even at this early stage of competition, biosimilars currently on the market have demonstrated savings, on average, of 20 percent off of their originator biologic’s net price. They are forecasted to save the U.S. as much as $54 billion over the next decade.
Despite this, U.S. market adoption has been slow. Biosimilars have struggled to gain a foothold while originators maintain the vast majority of market share.
Alignment of incentives that encourage biosimilar use are integral to the development of the U.S. market, and increased affordability will help improve patient adherence to treatment and lead to better health outcomes.
This policy would not only realize out-of-pocket savings for Medicare Part B beneficiaries, but it also has immense potential to help springboard the entire U.S. biosimilars market as patients and providers become familiar with their safe and efficacious use. Further, this proposal is also in line with HHS’ initiative to “harness payment and cost-sharing incentives to increase biosimilar adoption.”
Read the full letter here.
AAM is driven by the belief that access to safe, quality, effective medicine has a tremendous impact on a person’s life and the world around them. Generic and biosimilar medicines improve people’s lives, improving society and the economy in turn. AAM represents the manufacturers and distributors of finished generic pharmaceuticals and biosimilars, manufacturers and distributors of bulk pharmaceutical chemicals, and suppliers of other goods and services to the generic industry. Generic pharmaceuticals are 90 percent of prescriptions dispensed in the U.S. but only 22 percent of total drug spending.
About the Biosimilars Council
The Biosimilars Council, a division of the Association for Accessible Medicines (AAM), 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 www.biosimilarscouncil.org.