Breaking it down: Biologics and biosimilars with Steven Lucio
Learning about biologics, biosimilars and interchangeability can be complex.
Biosimilar medications may be similar to name-brand biologics, but Vizient senior principal Steven Lucio, PharmD, BCPS, the man who has studied these drugs for over a decade, is a brand all his own. Watch the video as Steven shares his insights about biosimilars.
Do you know your biosimilar facts?
A biosimilar is a biologic medical product that is almost an identical copy of a patented brand that is manufactured by a different company.
Humira's total revenue in 2021 was $20.7B. AbbVie, which makes Humira, has earned nearly $200 billion from the sale of this drug.
According to the FDA, biologics are the fastest-growing class of therapeutic products in the U.S.
Today’s market: biosimilar adoption, approvals and what’s next
Seven biosimilar versions of Humira have been approved for 2022: Cyltezo, Amjevita, Hadlima, Yusimry, Hulio , Hyrimoz, and Abrilada. Learn about Cyltezzo, the first approved interchangeable biosimilar for Humira plus more. Vizient Pharmacy Program Participants can access the up-to-date list.
From 2014-2022, biosimilars accounted for $12.6 billion in savings in the U.S., fulfilling their stated role of providing savings for high-cost, biologic medications. Nine biologic molecules have at least one marketed biosimilar competitor and five biologics have at least three approved biosimilar competitors.
Future biosimilar strategy
The Vizient Member Biosimilar Survey, launched in 2022, provides insight into how health systems and hospitals are capitalizing on upcoming high-cost therapeutic patent expiration. The survey results indicate likelihood of biosimilar strategy adoption and key drivers in the process, such as payer requirements.
Beginning Jan. 31, 2023, and continuing throughout the year, numerous biosimilar versions of adalimumab (Humira) are expected to enter the market.
Interchangeability and substitution
While biosimilars are not new, those possessing the interchangeability designation remain limited. Biosimilar interchangeability allows pharmacists to dispense a biosimilar in place of a branded biologic, like what occurs with generic drugs. However, this designation requires additional study and documentation provided by the manufacturer to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. To date, only two biosimilars, one of which is yet to be marketed, have received the interchangeability designation.
Given Humira’s use in the retail/pharmacy benefit setting, the potential for greater relevance of this designation exists. Therefore, we asked members about the importance of interchangeability attributes as well as the extent to which therapeutic substitution is taking place within their organizations.
When added to formularies, biosimilars — like infliximab — are highly utilized.
Biosimilars added to formulary: n=85
Biosimilars that are utilized: n=107
Access our resources
- Operational Timeline: Implementation of Biosimilar Adalimumab
- Pharmacy resources: Solutions to optimize your pharmacy patient care and growth
- Biosimilar resources (login required): Contracted biosimilars, education, market insights
- Pharmacy consulting: Benchmark your biosimilar conversion, assistance with formulary management and more
- Pharmacy analytics: Utilize Vizient Savings Actualyzer to access biosimilar tracker analytics
- Biosimilar calculator (login required): Compare savings for multiple products