Generics & BioSimilars
Generics have successfully eased the burden on public expenditure by making quality drugs more affordable, accessible, and available. Likewise, the significant strides made by the World Health Organization (WHO), in controlling disease, the world over and especially in the emerging economies, have been on the back of a supportive generics industry.
Generics cost less than the innovator drug and their branded counterparts because generic drug applicants do not have to repeat animal and clinical (human) studies that are required of the brand-name medicines to demonstrate safety and effectiveness. Further, multiple generic companies are often approved for marketing a single product; this creates competition in the marketplace, typically resulting in lower prices.
Due to the reduction in upfront research costs generics are sold at cheaper prices and at a cost much lower than their branded counterparts.
Biologic drugs include a wide variety of medicines that are derived from humans, animals or micro-organisms, by using biotechnology. Biogenerics are their off-patent equivalents and are hence cheaper. They constitute what may be termed peoples medicine.
Like Generics, the biosimilar development program need not repeat the entire clinical development cycle as the original reference biologics molecule. This advantage reduces the costs incurred by both: the manufacturers as well as the consumers. Moreover, it saves many volunteers and patients from engaging in unnecessary trials. Overall, the approval pathway for biosimilars is much more streamlined, more straightforward, and cheaper than the branded original biologics.
In 2018 alone, generic prescription medicines saved the US health care system USD 293 Bn and a whopping USD 2 Tn in the past ten years. Over the next ten years, biosimilar medicines are projected to save the U.S. health care system USD 54 Bn benefitting more than one million patients.
Generics & Biosimilars provide more treatment options, increase access to lifesaving medications, and potentially lower health care costs through competition.
As prescription drug costs continue to soar, various governments realize the potential public health and cost-saving benefits of these drugs. By implementing sustainable strategies like incentivizing the use of and bringing reasonably priced, quality-assured biosimilars & generics, Governments around the world are efficiently bringing down their healthcare spending.