Gain-sharing agreements, and physician and patient education are critical for biosimilar adoption.
By Christina Vasiliou & Tijana Ignjatovic, Analyst / Lead Analyst
24 May 2016
Presentations at the 14th Annual Biosimilar Medicines Group Conference revealed that gain-sharing agreements, as well as physician and patient buy-in are critical for driving biosimilar adoption. On 28 April 2016, consultant gastroenterologist Fraser Cummings presented a case study of an innovative managed switching program run by the University Hospital Southampton National Health (NHS) Service Foundation Trust. The program, funded by a gain-share agreement between the hospital and the local Clinical Commissioning Groups, aimed to address any potential risk and physician concerns regarding patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) being switched from Remicade to lower cost biosimilar infliximab. Gain-share agreements in the NHS incentivize payers and providers to use cost-effective products as all stakeholders benefit from the savings accrued. Payers, for example, benefit from having a reduced drug bill, and providers can re-invest the savings in high priority areas to better patient care. In total 143 patients, the majority (80%) of which had Crohn’s disease, were switched from Remicade to biosimilar infliximab as part of the Southampton program, with monthly cost savings of approximately £80,000 and no adverse impact on patient care. Cummings highlighted that the success of the Southampton program was due to all stakeholders being educated on biosimilars and benefiting from their lower cost, as a result of the gain-share agreement. Margaret Dolan, regional pharmacy procurement specialist for the NHS in the South East Coast region confirmed that the biggest barriers to biosimilar uptake in the UK to date has been the lack of willingness to share savings, as well as a lack of physician education.
“If the clinicians don’t believe in the biosimilars message the patients won’t either as they are led by the clinicians.”
– Regional pharmacy procurement specialist, NHS
Datamonitor Healthcare attended the 14th EBG Biosimilars Conference, which explored the current regulatory landscape for biosimilars, patient and physician concerns regarding switching, access barriers, the adoption of a multi-stakeholder approach, and ways to reduce the information gap on biosimilarity
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