The new report on The Impact of Biosimilar Competition in Europe highlights the visible benefits of biosimilar competition to increase patient access to highly innovative biological treatments. The new report was prepared by QuintilesIMS Health at the request of the European Commission with contributions from EFPIA, EuropaBio and Medicines for Europe.
Despite differences between countries, the overall trend in Europe is that biosimilar medicines are increasingly being used in medical practice and are increasing access to medicines for patients. Biosimilar competition in this high value market contributes to sustainable healthcare budgets. For many countries, especially in Eastern Europe, biosimilar medicines provide access to patients where it had previously been denied.
The QuintilesIMS report also highlights the need for multiple biosimilar players in the market to take advantage of the full benefits of competition in the long-run, which is in line with earlier findings. Governments should refrain from pursuing drastic short-term policies that limit the number of competitors in the market. Aligning payers’ and manufacturers’ understanding of the short, medium and long term benefits of biosimilar medicines is a cornerstone of sustainable biosimilar policy-making and healthcare sustainability. In addition and as highlighted during the event organised by the European Commission last week in Brussels, the availability of information and education around the use of biosimilar medicines is important to build stakeholder confidence in biosimilar medicines. Evidence-based discussions in a multi-stakeholder setting have largely contributed to the success of gainsharing schemes thanks to which biosimilar medicines have been introduced in medical practice across Europe for better access.
Adrian van den Hoven, Director General Medicines for Europe, commented: “Biosimilar medicines form an essential part of healthcare provision in Europe today. They have brought and will continue bringing competition to the market, providing access to biological therapies that are out of reach for too many patients in Europe. Medicines for Europe acknowledges the role of the European Commission and its partnership with QuintilesIMS in pursuing the dialogue and close monitoring of the unfolding of the competition in the biologics market”.