From March 9-11, ASBM participated in the Festival of Biologics USA 2022, held in San Diego, California. Several ASBM representatives presented on a variety of topics, and participated in several discussion panels at the three-day conference.

On March 9th, ASBM Advisory Board Chair Philip Schneider gave a plenary presentation on the current biosimilars landscape, highlighting factors which are contributing to biosimilars gaining market share in the U.S. Among these are greater discounts resulting from increased competition, as well as greater physician confidence in biosimilars due to strong FDA data requirements and increased familiarity. View his presentation here. 

On March 11th, Schneider gave a presentation in the conference’s “Real World Evidence” (RWE) track entitled “Problems with pharmacovigilance programs: Opportunities for improvement.” This presentation highlighted some of the unique pharmacovigilance challenges of biosimilars, areas of concern, and strategies for improving biosimilar pharmacovigilance globally.  View this presentation herePart 1 Part 2

Following his presentation, Schneider moderated one of the conference’s two closing panel discussions, entitled “Promoting biosimilar uptake”. This discussion examined the impact of interchangeable biosimilars on the biosimilar landscape and the role of competition in an increasingly active biosimilars pipeline.

The second closing panel discussion was moderated by ASBM Steering Committee Member Andrew Spiegel, Executive Director of the Global Colon Cancer Association. It is entitled “Market access dynamics and the future across different therapeutic areas” and will examine (e.g. arthritis, oncology, ophthalmology, hematology, etc).

One topic of this discussion was the possibility of switching patients at the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) en masse to preferred biosimilars, in order to realize cost savings across a large health system. Mr. Spiegel raised concerns with this approach, citing a recent study published in the journal Current Medical Research and Opinion, which examined US VHA patients who were switched from innovator infliximab to the VHA-preferred biosimilar. The study found that those who were switched from the reference product to the biosimilar were almost 3 times more likely to stop treatment and 5 times more likely to switch to another innovator biologic.

The study also found that 91% of the patients who stopped the biosimilar switched back to the originator product. “Reasons for discontinuation and switching are unknown,” investigators wrote in the study.


Learn more about the Festival of Biologics USA 2022 here.