Biosimilar medicines: creating sustainable competition in an era of a new patent cliff in biological medicines
© Baelen 2015
Published: 5 October 2015
For many years European governments have sought to ensure a high degree of competition in off-patent pharmaceutical markets in order to generate price competition - and consequently benefits such as improved patient access or savings for payers after patent expiry. The pharmaceutical industry believes that access to valuable new treatments and post-exclusivity competition are essential for the sustainability of healthcare systems.
Biological medicines have become increasingly important over the last years. Twenty-seven per cent of pharmaceutical sales in Europe come from biological medicines. This market grew by 5.5% vs. a total market growth of 1.9% in value sales between 2012 and 2013. Many of Europe's top selling biologic molecules are facing patent expiry by 2020.
Governments must realize that biosimilar medicines are different to generic medicines and as such a unique approach is needed. By applying the generic pricing model to biosimilar medicines, governments risk marking the biosimilar market unsustainable and patients and payers will no longer benefit.
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