According to the editors of the Journal of the Generics and Biosimilar Initiative (GaBI Journal), the most-viewed biosimilars article of 2020 was the whitepaper “Policy recommendations for a sustainable biosimilars market: lessons from Europe”, co-authored by ASBM’s Executive Director Michael Reilly and Advisory Board Chair Philip Schneider. The article was published online in February 2020 and in Issue 2 of GaBI Journal’s print edition.

The paper examined biosimilar substitution policies across Europe, looking for commonalities among them which led to successful and sustainable biosimilar markets. The paper found that across Europe, biosimilars have:

  • Increased competition
  • Reduced unit cost of both originator and biosimilars compared to price levels prior to the arrival of biosimilars
  • Increased volume consumption of molecules with biosimilar competition thus expanding market access and optimizing patient dosing
  • Alleviated budget pressures by providing headroom to fund novel treatment solutions

While the policies by which this has been achieved vary somewhat between countries, the paper reveals that all major European markets share the following features:

  • Automatic substitution for biologicals is forbidden
  • All approved biologicals, i.e. originators and their biosimilars, are available on the market and are reimbursed when prescribed
  • Reimbursement decisions on novel treatment solutions are independent from biosimilar use and uptake
  • The time from market approval to first product sales for biosimilars is shorter than the time to first sales of novel medicines

Read the whitepaper here