Big Pharma’s Faces Threat from Unfamiliar Biosimilars


Published Date : Mar 23, 2015

The benefit managers across pharmaceutical companies have finally come across a potential new weapon called biosimilars to fight the perpetual battle over the drug prices with regards to the United States prescription. However, the pharma investors do not seem to be prepared for the new generic versions of the popular drugs. 

Biosimilars are best explained as analogous or generic versions of conventional pharmaceuticals featuring small-molecule. Biosimilar must not be mistaken to be an exact copy of the treatment; nevertheless it mimics the medical procedure but requires substantially more resources and skills for the development of the generic drugs.

Another important aspect to note here is that biosimilars, unlike generics, must go through clinical trials before they get the final approval from the Food and Drugs Administration. According to reports, first biosimilar is already approved and many more are waiting to follow. As per the information collected by Evercore ISI, a total of 11 drugs are slated to face their biosimilars and compete against them to pocket the market share in the forthcoming years. Industry reports suggest this school of drugs with the ability of treating ailments from rheumatoid arthritis to cancer, amassed more than US$50 billion combined revenue in 2014. 

It is important to note here that the biosimilars will vary in intensity according to the treatments. For instance, at present there are 11 biosimilars which are still in the development stage to compete with the combination provided by AbbVie’s Humira, which is regarded as the best-selling drug worldwide, and is slated to lose its exclusive patent for the United States in 2016. Four of these competing drugs have already entered the stage three of the clinical trials. Other drugs that are to lose their patent in a year or two are facing competition from maybe one or two biosimilars.