ERIC Launches Initiative to Understand Biosimilars Potential to Lower Health Care Costs

Monday April 6, 2020

More than 180 million Americans receive health care benefits through their employer, with large employers paying more than 80 percent of health care premiums for their employees. Employees are seeing an increased burden of out-of-pocket expenditures for the medications they and their families depend on as prescription drug costs rise. The fastest growing costs are for specialty drugs, including biologics.

The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) launched an initiative to better understand the potential of biosimilars to reduce health care costs. Biosimilars are lower-cost alternatives to reference biologics. ERIC commissioned independent studies of 13 large employers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and others to learn how employers are currently using biosimilars and the role employers and government have in realizing greater benefits from biosimilar options.

Analyzing health plan data, researchers found that biosimilars saved employers, employees, and their families significant amounts of money. They identified many barriers to the availability of biosimilars in the marketplace, which keep costs higher, including limited or no availability and products being disfavored because of financial arrangements within the drug supply chain.

Recognizing that employers may be able to do more on their own to help speed the uptake of biosimilars, ERIC has laid out innovative practices for employers that could be implemented immediately to drive down costs. They’ve also provided a detailed account of federal legislative and regulatory options that would promote a favorable environment for biosimilars. This competition will drive down the costs of biologics, leading to lower-cost choices for employers and patients.


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 on our about page.

About AAM

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 23 percent of total drug spending. Additional information is available at www.accessiblemeds.org.

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