June 25, 2019

The Center for Biosimilars Features Commentary from Ha Kung Wong Comparing the Economics of Biosimilars and Generics

2 min

On June 25, 2019, the Center for Biosimilars featured commentary from Ha Kung Wong during a presentation at the ACI 10th Summit on Biosimilars in New York City, which reviewed the economics of biosimilar drugs and considerations for access, pricing, and reimbursement.

Drawing on lessons and comparisons he made of the biosimilar markets in Europe and the United States, Wong gave the audience a few take-home points that illustrate what stakeholders should consider in this space. Europe and the United States are very different, given Europe's mandatory list price discounts in some countries, tenders, and direct government involvement in various decisions. Europe also had at least a decade's head start over the United States in launching a biosimilar market. However, in the United States, payers could still "make an offer," as Wong put it, to incentivize use of biosimilars.

Second, more education for both physicians and payers, as is the case in Europe, can also increase uptake here. Third, Wong said, more time with biosimilars will lead to greater physician comfort in prescribing these drugs. Experience and comfort among physicians in prescribing biosimilars are shown to increase uptake, he said. Lastly, Wong warned about avoiding "a race to the bottom" in terms of pricing that would eliminate competition.