PODCAST: Biosimilars can help drive down medication costs. What you need to know.
An expert's perspective on helping more people get access to more affordable prescriptions.
What’s all this buzz about biosimilars? Episode 3 of the Inside Script: The Podcast, jumps head-first into this hot topic. We talked to Rich Lieblich, Prescriptive Health SVP, Chief Clinical Pharmacist, about the power of biosimilars to drive down medication costs and their impact on the prescription drug system.
Here’s a recap of the biggest takeaways from the conversation.
Accessibility, affordability, and quality
“Why do biosimilars matter so much? Because they can help more people realize healthier lives by making the medications they need more accessible and more affordable. Biosimilars represent anywhere from a 75 to 90% reduction in costs over the branded products.
But it’s not just about cost — it’s about quality. Biosimilars go through a rigorous pathway to approval. They’re studied even harder than generics, and forced through the most complex of the conditions in which the originator is approved. There is absolutely no compromise in quality from using the biosimilar over the innovator brand.”
By using the biosimilar, we’ve knocked our client’s costs down by 90% with zero issues with our members or with efficacy.Rich Lieblich, SVP, Chief Clinical Pharmacist
A formulary built for adherence
“Adherence is a problem because so many lifechanging drugs are so expensive. Biosimilars make things a lot more affordable, a lot easier to stay on, and help people manage high deductible health plans. This is an excellent opportunity for almost all patients.
Prescryptive has made the bold choice to offer only the biosimilar on our formulary. We’ve studied these drugs and realized that there are no clinical differences between the innovator and the biosimilar. By using the biosimilar, we’ve knocked our client’s costs down by 90% with zero issues with our members or with efficacy. This is something we are very proud of.”
What is the future of biosimilars?
“There are more biotech drugs losing patent protection in the next couple of years. That means there should be more biosimilars out there. However, if the payers don’t adopt these drugs, the biosimilars won’t continue to come out. So, in my opinion, we need to start using biosimilars a lot more once they come out.
Physicians are not the ones stopping the adoption of biosimilars in the pharmacy benefits marketplace. It’s either the perception of patients demanding things without understanding why, or pharmacy benefit managers pushing big brands to maintain rebate guarantees.”
“What drives me to do what I do is making sure that the amount of medication people need, they can get into their hands. Medications have gotten much more expensive over my career. We have to find ways to get these life-enhancing medications into people’s hands in ways they can afford.”