A study of five European Union nations has revealed which one provides the most favourable environment for biosimilar drugs. The study, which was led by Professor Henry Grabowski, director of programme in pharmaceutical health economics at Duke University in North Carolina, assessed the market experiences of biosimilars in five EU nations – France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Although the EU has a common regulatory system for approving biosimilars, there were differences in reimbursement practices, incentives, and medical and clinical practices across each of the member states.
But out of the five nations, which one came out on top?
Germany, according to the study, provided the most favourable environment. Not only is Germany Europe's main source of biosimilar production, but manufacturers also enjoy strong reputations with healthcare providers. What's more, Germany was found to have "wholeheartedly" embraced biosimilars from a reimbursement perspective, having implemented a reference pricing system for them plus specific biosimilar targets for physicians and sickness funds.
How did the other countries fare? Italy, apparently, had the least favourable environment, as it has a strict price regulation system requiring a mandatory discount of 15-22% relative to the reference brand. Another country found to have a strict price regulation system was France, but the volume of biosimilar sales in the country makes up for the compulsory discounts.
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If you're interested in hearing more about strategy and innovation in biosimilars, you might be interested in attending the World Biosimilar Congress Europe 2013, 12-13 November 2013.