ICYMI: Expert Encourage Increasing Biosimilar Use to Lower Health Care Costs; Study Finds Biosimilars Could Lower Employers Insurance Costs

Washington, DC — As the country and world battles a pandemic, the issue of mounting health care costs continues to burden American companies, patients and taxpayers.

A new report, published in the Arthritis & Rheumatology journal, analyzed biosimilars uptake at a Veterans’ Affairs medical center (VAMC). Following the report, Joshua F. Baker, MD, MSCE of the University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia VAMC, summarized the studies finding and called for solutions to encourage biosimilar use and help lower health care costs. 

Since biosimilars are an important way to lower health care costs, it is important that we find ways to encourage their use,” said Baker. This study suggests that the current reimbursement policy does not favor their rapid incorporation in practice, which could slow their impact on costs in the long run. Also, it suggests we need to do more to educate and inform practitioners so that they feel more comfortable using these therapies, particularly if we are unable to provide other financial incentives for their use.

Another recent study from the ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) showed that if employer-insurance plans replaced two biologics with lower-cost biosimilars, the employers could have saved more than $400 million and generated $1.4 billion in savings for self-insured companies in 2018. Using the lower-cost treatment option in Medicare Part B also could have saved as much as $279 million during that same year. 

Every minute wasted suppressing competition in this market and blocking access to these lower-cost medicines, employers, taxpayers and patients are losing money,said Juliana Reed, President of the Biosimilars Forum.As our nation battles through this pandemic, it is important we continue to move forward policies that reduce costs to our health care system and provide financial relief to employers and patients.

Biosimilars have the potential to save the U.S. healthcare system up to $150 billion over the next ten years. Already Congress has recognized the cost-saving attributes of biosimilars with several bipartisan proposals introduced in the House and Senate. These policies can increase access to and use of biosimilars — providing direct cost savings throughout the health care system. 

To learn more about the cost-saving benefits of biosimilars and/or the bipartisan legislation already introduced contact forum@skdknick.com or visit supportbiosimilars.com.