Knockoffs of Biotech Drugs Bring Paltry Savings

via Wall Street Journal

Generic drugs have long delivered huge savings over their brand-name counterparts. That isn’t likely to happen, though, with knockoff versions of some of the expensive drugs on the market today.

Rival versions of so-called biotech drugs, called biosimilars, are just starting to be released, and health insurers and drug-benefit managers say they expect them to cost nearly as much as the brand-name originals did for years.

One big reason: Pharmaceutical companies have been raising prices on biotech drugs about to lose patent protection to squeeze out more revenue before competition arrives, according to insurers, drug-benefit managers and pharmaceutical-industry consultants. And makers of the knockoffs are setting their prices just below those marked-up ones.

The main patent on Humira, a biotech that is one of the nation’s top-selling drugs, is set to expire on Dec. 31. Over the past three years, with competition looming, the maker of the treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases has increased the list price eight times, by a total of 73%, to $49,362 for a year’s treatment.

Read the full article here

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About thebenefitblog

Eric is a Producer at Lockton Insurance Brokers, Inc., the world’s largest privately held commercial broker. Eric has over 23 years of experience in the insurance industry and has spent the last 11 years with Lockton. Eric specializes in Health & Welfare Benefits, Retirement Planning, and Executive Benefits. Eric's clients utilize his expertise in the areas of Plan Due Diligence, Transaction Structure, Fiduciary Oversight, Investment Design, Compliance and Vendor negotiation to improve the operational & financial outcome for each client. The Benefit Blog is a place to share that expertise and industry news.
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