As millions struggle to pay rising drug costs, biosimilars can provide relief
Washington (October 9, 2018) – The Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP) today released an infographic depicting the benefits of biosimilars and the role of health plans in driving adoption of the treatments. The infographic demonstrates biosimilar cost savings compared to brand name biologics and emphasizes the need for education to increase use of biosimilar treatments.
See and download the infographic here.
“Biosimilars can boost access to life-saving drugs for millions of Americans. By encouraging competition, these therapies help reduce drug prices for consumers and the health care system as a whole,” said ACHP President and CEO Ceci Connolly. “Nonprofit community health plans are leading the way in biosimilar adoption, switching from expensive biologic therapies and realizing significant savings.”
ACHP member health plans are leading efforts to increase use of biosimilar treatments. Plans educate both patients and doctors on the safety and efficacy of biosimilars and collaborate with physicians and pharmacists to implement strategies for greater biosimilar adoption.
Dean Health Plan of Wisconsin is successfully using biosimilar therapies and estimating hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings. Dean started by identifying a biosimilar version of a biologic specialty drug that treats conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, launched an effort to transition members to the biosimilar and leveraged their integrated delivery network to spread adoption. Based on a 15 percent overall cost reduction each time the biosimilar is used, there is a potential of $650,000 annual savings. Dean shared this example at a recent Capitol Hill briefing. Kaiser Permanente has switched 98 percent of patients using the biologic Neupogen to its biosimilar version. Security Health Plan of Wisconsin has calculated a savings of 60 percent for a biosimilar medication used to boost white blood cells compared to the corresponding brand name therapy– amounting to a savings of $500 for every dose.
While biosimilars have the potential to save the health system billions of dollars and bring lower-cost options to consumers, barriers to competition have kept many off the market. ACHP and its members are committed to advancing widespread use of the new therapies. ACHP member plans recently met with HHS leaders to make recommendations on adoption and highlighted these therapies as key to lowering drug costs in response to the HHS Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs.
The Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP) is a national leadership organization bringing together innovative health plans and provider groups that are among America’s best at delivering affordable, high-quality coverage and care. ACHP’s member health plans provide coverage and care for more than 21 million Americans across 32 states and the District of Columbia. These organizations focus on improving the health of the communities they serve and are on the leading edge of innovations in affordability and quality of care, including primary care redesign, payment reform, accountable health care delivery and use of information technology. To learn more, go to www.achp.org and follow ACHP on Twitter @_ACHP.