STAT

Opinion: Combatting misinformation on biosimilars and preparing the market for them can save the U.S. billions

For more than a decade, biosimilars have flourished in Europe. That hasn't happened in the U.S. because of misinformation and poor market preparation.

As politicians and policymakers debate effective ways to rein in rising health care costs, biosimilars represent an obvious solution for saving billions of dollars a year. These products offer the same safety and effectiveness as the reference biologics they are designed to match. So why aren’t they being embraced by patients, physicians, and payers?

Blame that in part on misinformation about these products — some of it coming from the pharmaceutical industry — and the lack of market preparation to support the uptake of biosimilars in the U.S.

Biosimilars offer the health care system more affordable options than their biologic reference products while meeting the same rigorous standards for safety, purity, potency, and effectiveness. The RAND Corporation has estimated that a flourishing biosimilars market could save the U.S. as much as $54 billion over the next decade.

Yet even though the was signed into law in March have been approved in the U.S. Just seven of them are now being marketed, and most are struggling to gain a fair market share. Misinformation accounts for some of the lack of uptake.

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