Biosimilars Forum Member Spotlight: 5 Questions for Organon
The Biosimilars Forum is comprised of companies with the most significant U.S. biosimilars development portfolios. Today, we’re highlighting the newest member of the Forum, Organon. The Forum spoke with Jim Carey, Head of US Policy and Government Relations at Organon about the biosimilars landscape and Organon’s role in this space.
Biosimilars Forum: Organon has launched with a goal of redefining the future of women’s health, while also focusing on its important biosimilars and legacy brands. What does this new direction mean for patients?
Carey: Our mission is to deliver impactful medicines and solutions for a healthier every day. We believe women are foundational to a healthier world, and that focusing on a healthier future for her also means focusing on a healthier future for her family and community. Our new company puts a premium on listening: beyond the need to reduce the cost pressure on healthcare systems and help more people access biologic therapies, we want to listen and learn from patients – and all stakeholders – what their pain-points are, and how we can work together toward achieving that healthier every day.
Biosimilars Forum: COVID-19 has put financial strain on the health care system. What role can biosimilars play in the economic recovery of the U.S. health care system at-large?
Carey: First, biosimilars are a market-based approach that have the potential to save as much as $104B for the healthcare system from 2020-2024.1 These funds can be reinvested, whether that be for critical resources for healthcare providers or increased access to additional options for patients. Second, use of biosimilars can result in increased access to biologic medicines by increasing the supply in the market.
Biosimilars Forum: Over the next decade, the biosimilar market is expected to see significant growth. What do you expect to be the key drivers of this growth that, ultimately, will increase access to treatments?
Carey: Between existing biosimilars growing their market share over time, and multiple highly utilized biologics going off-patent over the next 10 years, we hope that biosimilar entrants will become a traditional part of the biologic product lifecycle, similar to generic entrants for chemical molecules, which should reduce costs to the healthcare system and increase access in the long-run. But as we know from seeing how generics grew to that point today, we need market-based incentives for patients, providers, and payers to help get us there.
We’re hoping to see progress on this front soon with the introduction or passage of biosimilars-related legislation, but we have a long way to go.
Biosimilars Forum: There is sometimes hesitation among patients and providers when it comes to utilizing a biosimilar. What educational steps need to be taken for more stakeholders to embrace biosimilars?
Carey: It’s a wonderful thing that people seem to be getting more involved with their personal health and treatment options. However, physicians only have so much time with their patients, and biosimilars are not an easily explainable concept. On the provider end, providers have the same behaviors as everyone else, and can feel comfortable in their existing habits and practices. There is also a lot of misinformation and disparagement about biosimilars that is contributing to this hesitancy. It’s going to be about breaking down the science clearly for patients and breaking down the long-term cost savings to the healthcare system more clearly for physicians.
Biosimilars Forum: What role does Organon hope to play in the patient experience?
Carey: When we as an industry discuss the patient experience for biosimilars, we’re referring to how a product is accessed by those who need it, but the full patient experience encompasses so much more than that. We want to increase access to medicines. Helping our stakeholders understand how to navigate the complexities of biosimilar adoption is part of our commitment as we aim to provide meaningful options that have a positive impact on health care systems. Our ultimate goal is to provide more options for the patients who need them.
 Aitken M, Kleinrock M, Muñoz E. Biosimilars in the United States 2020–2024: Competition, Savings, and Sustainability. IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science report. September 29, 2020. https://www.iqvia.com/insights/the-iqvia-institute/reports/biosimilars-in-the-united-states-2020-2024. Accessed July 16, 2021.