The 2022 Biosimilar Survey indicated that most pharmacists are willing to include biosimilars in their formulations, but certain factors are preventing widespread adoption.
According to a survey conducted by Vizient, Inc. more hospitals are including biosimilars in their forms;1 however, biosimilars are still not widely used in patient care. Of respondents, 80% said their institution has implemented a system-wide assessment process for adding a biosimilar to their formulary.1
“Vizient has long pushed for biosimilars to be introduced into our member healthcare organizations to compete with their proprietary biologic counterparts because they are just as safe and effective,” said Steven Lucio, senior principal, pharmacy solutions, in a press release.1
According to the study, 36 biosimilars have been approved in the past 8 years – in total they could save patients $12.6 billion.2 Up to 10 adalimumab (Humira) biosimilars will be launched by 2023, varying by method, formula and interchangeability.3 Humira generated more than $17 billion in net revenue in 2021, but biosimilars could become a worthy alternative.3
“The introduction of biosimilars signals the greatest opportunity for savings and value realization in this new era of biological competition,” Vizient said in the press release.3
To evaluate the current state of biosimilars in clinical formulations, Vizient distributed 1907 surveys to pharmacy managers and professionals between March 30 and April 28, 2022.2
The researchers found that 30% of respondents added biosimilars when asked by supplier or payer,1 and this is expected to increase in the coming years.2 Of the respondents, 22% said they would use biosimilars once they were approved by the FDA. A quarter of participants reported that their institution would add biosimilars to the formulary once it was approved by the organization’s pharmaceutical and therapeutic committee.1
When prescribing a biosimilar, 65% of respondents said they would only use the medication for treatment-naïve patients. Most respondents also indicated that the payer’s question would influence their decision to prescribe a biosimilar or the reference product.3
From the study results, Vizient correlated that biosimilars are used when added to a formulary.2 A cited example showed that 88% of respondents taking a biosimilar to infliximab (Remicade) used it to treat inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis and 85% of respondents reported using it for these conditions and other health conditions.1
Respondents reported that payer placement, purchase price, and interchangeability status will most likely influence which biosimilars are chosen and included in a hospital’s formulary. There are also questions about the potential impact of current biosimilars after the patent expires.2
“The introduction of additional biosimilars represents a real savings opportunity for healthcare facilities and their patients,” Lucio said in the press release.
- Vizient, Inc. New survey from Vizient provides hospital insights into biosimilar adoption and what prevents wider use. Aug 23, 2022. Accessed Aug 23, 2022.
- Results of the 2022 Biosimilar Survey. Irving, TX: Vizient, Inc.; 2022. https://www.vizientinc.com/-/media/documents/sitecorepublishingdocuments/public/biosimilar_survey_detailed_results.pdf Accessed August 23, 2022
- Jeremias, Skylar. Vizient survey reveals suppliers’ motivation to choose biosimilar over Humira. AJMC. Aug 23, 2022. Accessed Aug 23, 2022.