Study suggests employers implement biosimilars strategies to manage rising costs of prescription and specialty drugs
NOVI, MICHIGAN, January 11, 2022 – The Economic Alliance for Michigan (EAM), a nonprofit group comprised of some of the state’s largest employers and unions, released a new case study today suggesting that health benefit providers look to biosimilars as an effective way to curb the rising costs of prescription and specialty drugs. Michigan is an innovation leader for the use of biosimilars, a biologic medical product that is almost an identical copy of an original product. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first biosimilar in the United States in 2015, nearly a decade after European nations.
In September 2021, EAM hosted an employer roundtable discussion regarding biosimilar adoption strategies as an alternative to various pharmaceuticals for employees/members. The roundtable comprised of large and small businesses, labor organizations, and other associations representing a variety of industries. Participants unanimously agreed their biggest concern was the rising costs of their organization’s pharmacy spend.
“Year after year employers struggle to meet the increasing costs of their pharmacy benefit plans,” stated Bret Jackson, president of EAM. “We need to look at safe, effective and innovative ways to reduce the pharmacy spend so additional jobs and higher wages can be created. Biosimilars is one of those alternatives.”
One company from the roundtable discussion noted the switch to using biosimilars resulted in saving nearly $5.0 million with no disruption to patients and no negative feedback from its members.
“Employers in Michigan are paving a path for purchasers from around the country to follow,” said Jackson. “Thanks to the hard work from Ford Motor Company, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Priority Health, a blueprint for adopting biosimilars has been created for others to work from.”
The study recommends actions that companies and organizations can make for successful adoption of biosimilars, including:
- Asking for data from medical carriers and for information about existing biosimilar programs.
- Consider hiring a pharmacy specialist.
- Be aggressive when negotiating benefit contracts. Ask for a utilization review.
- Educate the provider community and employees/members early on about biosimilars.
- Offer site-of-care program for employees and members.
For more information contact Bret Jackson, EAM president, at email@example.com.