Policies that promote biosimilar competition have the potential to save U.S. patients up to $5.8 billion collectively if biosimilars to Humira and Enbrel grow in market share, finds a new brief released today by the Center for Medical Economics and Innovation at the nonpartisan Pacific Research Institute, a California-based, free-market think tank.
“The significant savings potential that patients and taxpayers alike would realize from introducing biosimilars to Humira and Enbrel to the U.S. market shows the importance of policymakers fostering a competitive environment that supports the growth of lower-cost biosimilars,” said Dr. Wayne Winegarden, director of PRI’s Center for Medical Economics and Innovation and the study’s author.
“Generating Drug Savings Through Competition” explores the potential savings to patients and taxpayers from two drugs that currently do not face competition from biosimilars – Humira, which is the top selling drug in the United States, and Enbrel.
Winegarden notes that given the large revenues generated by these two drugs, and the typical 40 to 60 percent discounts that biosimilars generate in relation to the originator biologic, introducing biosimilars to Humira and Enbrel in the marketplace has the potential to generate significant savings. An estimated 5.77 million doses of Humira will be administered in the U.S. in 2021, along with 3.005 million doses of Enbrel.
Using average year-over-year percentage changes in quarterly revenues for the first two quarters of 2021 to project the total calendar year revenues for Humira and Enbrel, Winegarden’s research found that, depending on the discount offered through biosimilar competition (40 percent, 50 percent, or 60 percent), patients could save:
- Between $1.034 billion and $1.551 billion if biosimilars gained 25 percent market share
- Between $2.069 billion and $3.103 billion if biosimilars gained 50 percent market share
- Between $3.103 billion and $4.654 billion if biosimilars gained 75 percent market share
- Between $250.5 million and $375.7 million if biosimilars gained 25 percent market share
- Between $501.0 million and $751.5 million if biosimilars gained 50 percent market share
- Between $751.5 million and $1.127 billion if biosimilars gained 75 percent market share
The study also estimates the state-by-state savings from biosimilar competition, both in the commercial market and in Medicare.