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In the final part of an HCPLive Rheumatology interview with Juliana Reed, MS, executive director of the Biosimilars Forum, she predicts what the future holds regarding biosimilar access in the United States (US).
“As an optimist, I believe that when we start to see the numbers on the uptake of biosimilars, it will become evident that limited access to lower-cost products is a significant issue,” she explained. “This should serve as a wake-up call for all stakeholders involved. I hope that policymakers take notice and actively promote the uptake of biosimilars, emphasizing the cost savings and competition they bring.”
She believes the impact of restricted access to biosimilars will not only affect the availability of these products but also influence future development decisions. As it takes considerable time and resources to develop a biosimilar, and if the market does not provide sufficient access or competition, companies may hesitate to invest in their development.
Regarding recent developments including the addition of 7 adalimumab biosimilars into the US market, rheumatologists have been increasingly comfortable with biosimilars and are aware that these products meet the safety and efficacy standards set by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Reed stressed physicians can confidently prescribe biosimilars and should look forward to the competition, which will help reduce the high costs associated with these treatments.
“I want to emphasize that biosimilars are the next generation of the generic drug industry and hold great potential for reducing the skyrocketing costs of medicines in the US,” Reed concluded. “Just like generics, biosimilars have the potential to significantly decrease costs for patients and insurance companies. However, achieving this goal requires the active participation of all stakeholders.”
Additionally, she explained, consumers, especially those who rely on expensive medicines, should pay attention to biosimilar access and the lower costs associated with them as it can greatly impact their family's budget.
This transcript was edited for clarity.