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.

The biosimilar experience is well into its second decade of existence in the U.S. As of the writing of this report (Aug. 2022), 36 biosimilars have been approved and over 20 biosimilars are marketed.

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.


From 2014-2022, biosimilars accounted for $12.6 billion in savings in the U.S.

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.

What is your 2023 biosimilar strategy?

Our recent Vizient Member Biosimilar Survey provides peer perspectives into the current landscape of biosimilars and what is anticipated as we get closer to 2023.

Download the detailed survey report

BiosimilarsTap our expertise

The latest edition of Pharmacy Market Outlook has additional insights into the future of biosimilar exclusivity and optimization you can use to discover savings.

Download the report

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



Vizient can help improve your biosimilar strategy 

Our capabilities include sourcing services, including network aggregation strategies, clinical information, analytics and consulting that can assist you in this market.

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We can help you improve your biosimilar strategy and take advantage of savings.