Dr Edward Li Discusses the Benefit Biosimilars Can Have in Oncology

The impact that generics have on bringing down the cost of branded drugs needs to happen in the biologics space so the industry can save money and improve access to medications and population outcomes, according to Edward Li, PharmD, MPH, BCOP, of the University of New England.

How can the oncology community benefit from extended knowledge about biosimilars, and conversely, benefit the pharmaceutical industry?
We're in the era of focusing on reducing overall costs of cancer care, and what's clear is that we cannot continue to pay these premium prices for medications that have been developed 20 years ago. And if you think about the generic analogy, where after a number of years these branded products that have been on the market for many, many years and we understand how to use these products, the prices come down because of these generic products and increased competition. And that helps to improve access to these medications and, overall, improves the population-based outcomes.

So we need that to happen with biologic medications, as well. The top 3 medications that we use in this country are cancer-related medications, and so it's clear that we need to find a mechanism to reduce our spending on these products so we can spend that money on other things. By nature of saving that money and improving access to these medications and other medications our outcomes for the whole population will improve.
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