Biotech giant Amgen Inc. this week published the 8th edition of its Biosimilar Trends Report, which provides insights and data on biosimilar market trends and their impact on health care costs.
Biosimilars are drugs that are approved if they can successfully show high similarities to a drug that already has FDA approval. Biosimilars have no major clinical differences to the drugs they imitate, called reference drugs. Amgen has a big presence in the biosimilar market.
The report claims that biosimilar competition saved the U.S. health care system $9.8 billion in the last five years. Competition can potentially reduce patients’ out-of-pocket spending by $238 million within nine biologic drug classes where biosimilars have been approved.
Specifically, competition drives down health care costs by providing wholesale acquisition cost as well as average sales price discounts at launch, creating additional savings as time goes on. The report added that biosimilars are launching at prices about 15 percent to 37 percent lower than their reference drugs.
In a section of the report called the “Future State of the Marketplace,” Amgen wrote that it expects a “rapid evolution in the U.S. biosimilars marketplace.” The biotech giant also expects that there will be an expansion of biosimilars into pharmacy benefit reimbursement, presence of biosimilars in more therapeutic areas and approval of further interchangeable biosimilars.
Amgen has invested $2 billion across a portfolio of 10 biosimilar medicines.
Shares of Amgen closed up $1.41, or a fraction of a percent, to $215.05 on the Nasdaq Thursday, a day when the market climbed 1 percent.