Since their first use in the 1980s, biologic medicines have grown to become an indispensable tool in modern medicine. Advancements in biologic research and development have pushed the frontiers of science, bringing lifesaving treatments to patients suffering from deadly diseases, such as cancer. Biologic therapies have also helped patients make great strides in managing chronic diseases like multiple sclerosis, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and Crohn’s disease.
Biologics are innovative treatment options for patients affected by debilitating and life-threatening diseases; however, they are often associated with high costs and limited patient access. Fortunately, more affordable options for many patients who rely on biologic treatments are beginning to enter the market: biosimilars.
A biosimilar is a biologic medicine that is highly similar to a previously approved reference biologic currently on the market. Biosimilars are important because they have an opportunity to provide competition in the market and expand patient access to critical medicines, much like the advent of generic medications more than 35 years ago.
We live in an era of biologic medicine. With an aging population and growing demand for treating chronic conditions, biologic use is on the rise. And in an environment where health decisions are increasingly made based on value and cost, biosimilars will play a vital role in improving patient access to needed medicine. The launch of new biosimilars over the next decade could save consumers as much as $250 billion and boost access to biologic treatments for an additional 1.2 million patients by 2025. That expands treatment options for chronically ill patients and allows greater use of biologic medicines overall by providing more affordable access to individuals who in the past have either forgone treatment or settled for less effective medicine.