On January 4th, the Roanoke Times published an op-ed by Stacie Phan, Executive Director of the Biosimilars Forum, discussing the potential cost savings of biosimilars, especially to the Medicare program:
“…a recent decision by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to change a billing policy that jeopardized the long-term stability of the biosimilars market could also help pave the way for increased development of biosimilars. The CMS rule change to assign each biosimilar a unique billing code will lead to greater opportunity for increased competition, greater cost savings, and more choices for patients. In fact, the Biosimilars Forum estimates the new rule will reduce Medicare costs by $65 billion over ten years.”
In November, CMS reversed the policy made in 2015 under the Obama Administration, in which all biosimilars sharing one reference product would also share a single billing code. The initial policy had faced broad opposition from manufacturers of biologics and biosimilars, as well as representatives of the physician, pharmacist, and patient communities. ASBM was among these opponents.
On September 11th, 2017, ASBM submitted comments to CMS which reiterated our concerns in detail and urged CMS to reconsider the policy. Learn more about the decision here.
Read the op-ed here.