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.
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.
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.