Biosimilars will have a positive impact on the dynamics of the U.S. drug channel, similar to but initially less pronounced than that of generic pharmaceuticals, according to a new Fitch Ratings report.
Biosimilars will likely present a compelling margin expansion opportunity for most drug channel participants, excluding originators. Fitch expects specialty drug distributors, specialty pharmacies, pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), and payors to each capture a component of the cost savings derived from switching to lower cost drug alternatives from often very expensive biologic drugs.
Fitch expects these participants to be aggressive in encouraging and facilitating the conversion of branded biologics to biosimilars. Overall biosimilar uptake is likely to be more rapid in the U.S. than that seen in Europe to-date. However, physicians will retain substantial influence over the rate at which these conversions take place due to significant differences between traditional generics and biosimilars.
Biopharma developers are not without defenses. Many manufacturers of novel biologics are also engaged in the development of biosimilars. ‘Biobetters’ and next-generation version of current biological therapies are also strategies for hedging the risk associated with a biologic drug’s patent expiration.
The full report, ‘Trekking the Path to Biosimilars – The Destination’ is available at ‘ www.fitchratings.com ‘. This is the fourth and final report in a series dedicated to the burgeoning global biosimilars market.
Additional information is available at ‘ www.fitchratings.com