What are biosimilars?
Biosimilars are biologics that are highly similar—yet not identical— to a reference product. Before a biosimilar goes to market, its manufacturer must conduct studies to show it is highly similar to the reference product. Biosimilar products go through a rigorous FDA approval process to make sure they are safe, pure, and effective. From a clinical perspective, there is no meaningful difference between a reference product and its biosimilar.
Differences between generics and biosimilars
Biosimilars are not generics. Generics are exact copies of synthetic pharmaceuticals and the active ingredients must be the same as a brand name drug. Biosimilars are copies of biologics, which are medications made with living cells. They can have slight differences in clinically inactive components. The important thing to remember is there is no difference in how a biosimilar and its reference product treats your patients’ conditions.
Since IBD symptoms can be severe, maintaining a stable condition is important for IBD management. Patients who were on infliximab, reference product or biosimilar, can remain stable after switching to another biosimilar, without major safety concerns.
Nabeel khan, MD, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Biosimilars have the potential to reduce costs and expand access to life-changing drugs in the United States. Yet many providers do not have a complete understanding or high level of confidence in the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) process for approving biosimilars and the biosimilar pipeline. Download our white paper to learn the basics.
What to know about biosimilars
As a specialty provider, you make choices every day about what medications to prescribe. A biosimilar and its reference product will provide the same clinical results for your patients. We want you to feel confident in your decision to pick biosimilars for your patients. We are here to support you with innovative solutions to help increase access to emerging therapies, like biosimilars. As a clinician, you can help drive long-term stability in the biosimilars market. As your strategic GPO partner, we provide your practice with easier access to biosimilars entering the market so you can make the best choice for your patients' care.
As a practice administrator, you keep things running smoothly and this includes ensuring financial stability for your practice. You may worry about the cost of biosimilars and whether or not the practice will be reimbursed. There is no need to worry. Biosimilars are often cheaper for specialty physician practices than their reference products. Both Medicare and private insurers support the use of biosimilars and reimburse at a competitive rate. Plus, upcoming legislation has the potential to positively impact reimbursement. That’s a win-win. You can be confident that your practice’s finances will sustain or improve when your clinicians choose biosimilar products.
Your patients may be uncertain about biosimilars. Yet, they trust you, their specialty physician. You can help them understand that biosimilars are safe and effective. Patients can expect the same health outcomes if you prescribe a biosimilar instead of its reference product. Biosimilars can also save patients money as they often pay less out-of-pocket. As trusted advisors, specialty physicians should recommend biosimilar use. Think about adding a “substitute biosimilars” option to your patient consent forms to incorporate them into care plans. Start a conversation with patients to answer their questions and build their trust.
Create sustained value with biosimilars
The first biosimilar launched in 2015 and the market has grown steadily. Biosimilars help drive down the overall cost of care by encouraging competition in the healthcare marketplace. This helps lower prices, letting more patients access critical therapies. As a specialty provider, you know the value of easy access to effective, affordable care. With biosimilars, you can help your patients achieve that care.
Biosimilar products offer specialty practices strong value through competitive contracts. We understand every practice’s budget needs are different. AmerisourceBergen Specialty GPOs can help you find the biosimilar contracts that make the most sense for your practice’s ongoing, financial well-being.
Build your biosimilar strategy
As a specialty practice, you want to make the right choices for your patients. You need a partner to help navigate the complex biosimilar market and that’s where our strategic account managers step in.
Learn how your strategic account manager will work with you to develop a biosimilar strategy that works best for your practice. You can feel confident our expertise will guide you in delivering high-value care that supports access and choice for your patients.