Biosimilars is a market that has grown considerably in recent years. We talked about it at CPhI 2016 in Barcelona, which we participated in from 4 to 6 October.

The biosimilar drugs market actually generates a business volume of $1,7 billion. A turnover significantly low if compared to the whole pharmaceutical income, but ready to increase 20 times by 2020.
This is what it says a report signed by Allied Market Research (Global Biosimilars/Follow-on-biologics Market, July 2014) and mentioned during the CPhI in Barcelona by Ravi Limaye, president of Biocon, the India’s largest biopharmaceutical company.
This growth will be the effect of two factors: the expiring of a consistent number of patents and an increase on demand for biologics drugs, that should achieve $390 billion (source: IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, Delivering on the potential of biosimilar medicines, 2016), which is one third of the pharmaceutical income.

The biosimilar field is very vast and includes organic origin drugs  with expired or about to expire patent, including vaccines, insulin and hormones.

Such a consistent presence on the market of biologic drugs with a lower price, will meet a strong need in those countries where economic availability limits the access to healthcare. Although, as Limaye pointed out, the impact on the market has to be planned by educating the involved parties. It’s necessary to provide physician with data and evidence that the biosimilar drugs offer a safe and effective alternative to original biologics, in order to adequately reassure patients. Stakeholders have to be also informed about the benefits of assure accessible healthcare. A key role will be carried out by the informative action of the manufacturers.

This is a global phenomenon that has to be followed with attention. We hope that the turnover increase and a progressive elaboration and development of clear standards in all countries could offer the opportunity to expand the audience of patients who need this kind of medical care.