On September 21, 2021, the Association for Accessible Medicines (AAM), the trade association of generic and biosimilar manufacturers, released topline findings from its forthcoming 2021 U.S. Generic & Biosimilar Medicines Savings Report highlighting the value of generic and biosimilar drugs.
According to the report, the US healthcare system saved $338 billion in 2020 through the use of FDA-approved generic and biosimilar drugs.
The market for biosimilar drugs continued to grow in 2020, with 3 new approvals and 6 product launches. Overall, the use of biosimilars generated a total of $7.9 billion in savings for patients in the United States last year, bringing the 10-year total savings from biosimilars up to $12.6 billion. Additionally, biosimilars are projected to generate more than $133 billion in savings by 2025.
The analysis also showed that the introduction of oncology biosimilars has reduced the growth rate of oncology spending by approximately 50% since 2019. This reduction in growth, along with continued use of generic cancer drugs, contributed to a total of $18 billion saved on oncology medicines in 2020.
As the cost of prescription drugs has been a growing concern in recent years, the findings from this report reinforce the critical importance of the generic and biosimilar drug industry for patients in the United States.
“The generic drug industry is absolutely central to the affordability of healthcare in America, accounting for nine out of ten prescriptions. In the face of a pandemic that has upended life around the globe, generic and biosimilar medicines have been a constant, providing safe, effective, and affordable treatments to the millions of patients who depend on them,” said Dan Leonard, president and CEO of AAM, in a press release.
“Biosimilars are an essential part of the effort to provide affordable and effective medicines to every patient who needs them,” said Christine Simmon, Executive Director of the Biosimilars Council, which is part of the AAM. “Although biosimilars are projected to save the nation $133 billion by 2025, this will only occur if policymakers take steps to encourage greater biosimilar adoption,” she added.
Additional highlights from the 2021 savings report include the following:
- Medicare recorded $109.6 billion in generic and biosimilar savings in 2020
- Medicaid saved $53.8 billion in 2020 through the use of generics and biosimilars
- 93% of generic drugs have copays under $20 (compared to 51% of brand name drugs)
- The average generic copay is $6.61 compared to an average out-of-pocket cost of $55.82 for brand name drugs.
As in the past, this year’s report was developed by analyzing independent research from IQVIA to quantify how much money America’s patients and the US healthcare system are saving because of generic and biosimilar alternatives to brand-name prescription and biologic medications. The report breaks down savings by state, age, payer, and common medical conditions and provides in-depth data that policymakers can use as they work to reduce drug prices.
A copy of the report can be downloaded from https://accessiblemeds.org/sites/default/files/2021-10/AAM-2021-US-Generic-Biosimilar-Medicines-Savings-Report-web.pdf.