In the fast-paced world of health care, the role of the patient continues to evolve from passive to active. One of the most pressing issues patients face is the cost of their medications, which can serve as a significant barrier to access, especially for expensive brand-name biologic medicines. Patient access to more affordable biosimilars products is the driving force behind the Biosimilars Council’s efforts to ensure a positive regulatory, reimbursement, political and policy environment for biosimilar medicines, which current estimates suggest could save consumers as much as $250 billion during the first 10 years of availability. Below are a few of the ways the Council is forging a path on access to biosimilars.
Convening key industry leaders. On September 12-13, we brought together industry representatives, U.S. government officials, academic experts, and patient advocates, to discuss the future of biosimilars. Our ‘Leading on Biosimilars’ conference featured presentations from key industry leaders, including Andy Slavitt, former Acting Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and Adrian van den Hoven, Director General of Medicines for Europe. A focus of the conference was biosimilar education, and sessions dedicated to educating the public, patients and health care professionals about the safety and effectiveness of biosimilars.
Educating physicians, patients and providers. One of the key challenges our health care system must overcome is the lack of understanding by stakeholders – including those who stand to benefit from increased access to biosimilars – of the role biosimilars can have in treatment. To help address this, our updated handbook is designed to be a reference tool for all stakeholders, and in particular patients and health care professionals, interested in learning more about biosimilars and interchangeable biologics.
Collaborating with leading research firms on patient access. Together with Avalere Health, we released results of a new patient access study, “Biosimilars in the United States: Providing More Patients Greater Access to Lifesaving Medicines.” 1.2 million U.S. patients could gain access to biologics by 2025 as the result of biosimilar availability. The data also suggests that women, lower income, and elderly patients would particularly benefit from access to biosimilar medicines.
Engaging with policy makers. To ensure patients have access to more affordable versions of expensive biologic medicines, we urged the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to revise its reimbursement policy for biosimilars in Medicare Part B. A report commissioned by The Moran Company (TMC) found that the federal government could save $11.4 billion on medicines over the next 10 years if CMS were to revise its current policy.
The Biosimilars Council is now on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, follow us for the latest updates on biosimilars.
Join us at one of the upcoming AAM meetings:
AAM 2017 Fall Technical Conference
November 6-8, 2017
ACCESS! 2018 AAM Annual Meeting
February 12-14, 2018