Forging a Path: How We Are Leading on Access to Biosimilars

Wednesday October 4, 2017

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
Bethesda, MD

ACCESS! 2018 AAM Annual Meeting
February 12-14, 2018
Orlando, FL

About the Biosimilars Council

The Biosimilars Council, a division of the Association for Accessible Medicines (AAM), works to ensure a positive environment for patient access to biosimilar medicines. The Biosimilars Council is a leading source for information about the safety and efficacy of more affordable alternatives to costly brand biologic medicines. Areas of focus include public and health expert education, strategic partnerships, government affairs, legal affairs and regulatory policy. More information is available on our about page.

About AAM

AAM is driven by the belief that access to safe, quality, effective medicine has a tremendous impact on a person’s life and the world around them. Generic and biosimilar medicines improve people’s lives, improving society and the economy in turn. AAM represents the manufacturers and distributors of finished generic pharmaceuticals and biosimilars, manufacturers and distributors of bulk pharmaceutical chemicals, and suppliers of other goods and services to the generic industry. Generic pharmaceuticals are 90 percent of prescriptions dispensed in the U.S. but only 23 percent of total drug spending. Additional information is available at www.accesiblemeds.org.

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The Council is involved in a number of events that focus on advancing biosimilars in the United States. Click on one below to learn more

GRx+Biosims 2019

Join us in Bethesda, Maryland on November 4-6, 2019 for the premier scientific and regulatory event for the U.S. generics and biosimilars industries.

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