The inclusion of the first monoclonal antibody biosimilar on the PBS will deliver immediate savings to the Federal Government; however the full potential of this and other biosimilar medicines relies on market uptake drivers aimed at prescribers, pharmacists and patients, says the Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association.
GBMA welcomed today’s PBS listing of Inflectra (infliximab) and highlighted the important role that biosimilars play in supporting PBS affordability – today and in the future.
“Biosimilars reduce the cost of medicines to the health system in two ways: firstly, through an instant 16% price reduction upon PBS listing, and then over time as a result of competition and price disclosure,” says GBMA CEO Belinda Wood.
“With brand-name biological medicines accounting for $2.3 billion, or around 25% of annual PBS expenditure, the increased availability and use of biosimilars will deliver significant savings to the PBS,” she says.
“Biosimilar infliximab is the first of a number of biosimilars currently under development. Over the coming years, we can expect approval of biosimilar versions of some of the most widely prescribed and costly biological medicines,” Wood says.
“Australian patients will benefit from the PBS listing of biosimilar medicines. The savings they can be expected to deliver provide the perfect opportunity to improve patient access to life-changing medications.
“However, ongoing PBS savings and improved patient access can only be realised if the use of biosimilars is supported by drivers to encourage uptake by doctors, pharmacists and patients.”