Currently Viewing:
Currently Reading
Long-Anticipated Biosimilar From Novartis Launched, but at What Price?
September 03, 2015 – Surabhi Dangi-Garimella, PhD
Telehealth Intervention Can Overcome Barriers to Colorectal Screening
September 02, 2015 – Surabhi Dangi-Garimella, PhD
Rolapitant Gains FDA Approval for CINV
September 02, 2015 – AJMC Staff
Repatha's Price in Europe Far Less Than What America Will Pay
September 02, 2015 – Laura Joszt
ASCO Publishes Policy Update on Genomic Testing for Cancer Susceptibility
September 01, 2015 – Surabhi Dangi-Garimella, PhD
Elotuzumab Accepted for Priority Review by FDA for Previously-Treated Patients With Multiple Myeloma
September 01, 2015 – Surabhi Dangi-Garimella, PhD
Gene Signature Could Predict Development of Pancreatic Cancer, Allow Personalized Treatment
August 31, 2015 – Surabhi Dangi-Garimella, PhD
ASCO Updates Guidelines for Advanced Lung Cancer
August 31, 2015 – Surabhi Dangi-Garimella, PhD
New 340B Draft Guidance May Increase Bureaucracy
August 31, 2015 – Surabhi Dangi-Garimella, PhD

Long-Anticipated Biosimilar From Novartis Launched, but at What Price?

Surabhi Dangi-Garimella, PhD
Novartis has announced that Zarxio will be available at 15% of the cost of its reference product Neupogen.
Approved by the FDA in March 2015, Zarxio (filgrastim-sndz) has finally entered the US market as the first biosimilar. Amgen, the company manufacturing the reference product Neupogen, saw its last-ditch effort to stop marketing of Zarxio stalled by a federal appeals court on Wednesday, with the rejection of a request for a temporary injunction to block Novartis from selling Neupogen.

Developed by Sandoz as a biosimilar to Amgen’s Neupogen, Zarxio is a leukocyte growth factor that can provide an immune boost to the body and is indicated in patients with cancer receiving myelosuppressive chemotherapy.

An important piece of the puzzle—the cost of the drug—was solved today, with the announcement that the biosimilar would be sold at 15% lower cost compared with the reference product, Neupogen. Stakeholders have argued that a biosimilar product cannot be equated to a generic product and therefore, may not necessarily yield the cost savings seen with generic drug moieties. However, Zarxio could well be a case study to determine the route that the next wave of less expensive biosimilars take with respect to regulatory approval, cost, and provider uptake.

Novartis said the US wholesale list price for a 300 microgram syringe of Zarxio was $275.66, with the 480 microgram version costing $438.98. Neupogen costs $324.30 and $516.45 for the same syringe formulations, according to Amgen. These numbers are important for insurance companies to consider. Nearly 50% of Aetna’s drug spending for example, is on specialty products used by just 1% of its customers. Now, more than ever, biologicals and their prices have been a cause for concern with extremely effective antibodies to treat cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and cholesterol flooding the market. Physicians, health plans, and pharmacy benefit managers are all taking a firm stand against these high-price drugs and biosimilar products may well be the answer.

Copyright AJMC 2006-2020 Clinical Care Targeted Communications Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Welcome the the new and improved, the premier managed market network. Tell us about yourself so that we can serve you better.
Sign Up