Health plans

Julie Reed explains how savings can differ between patients and health plans

Julie M. Reed, Executive Director of the Biosimilars Forum, discussed how biosimilar economies can differ between stakeholders and the importance of competition in creating those economies.


How do the potential savings from increased use of biosimilars differ for health plans and patients?

That’s an excellent question. I think it only differs by the identity of the speaker. The savings are there for everyone. Now, what really differs is the liability of health plans. They can and should include all biosimilars on their formularies, and they should cover all biosimilars, giving patients and physicians access to all biosimilars.

This is really essential because what we know and our economic studies show that the more biosimilars there are competing at the same time with the reference product, the faster the prices come down, the greater the savings. If there is only one biosimilar versus all biosimilars and access and coverage are equal, you don’t see the strong competition you might have. that, in turn, [leads to] price goes down, co-pays go down, prices for patients and everything else.

So that’s key with respect to payers and their formularies, and Medicare, and governments. They have a responsibility to really promote and increase the adoption of these lower cost products.