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Biosimilars Had a Huge Impact on Total Cost of Care, Says AON’s Christine Pfaff


In a few short years, biosimilars have driven down total cost of care in oncology through providing competition for expensive drugs, explained Christine Pfaff, RPh, senior regional director of operations, American Oncology Network (AON).

Just 5 years ago, providers were still getting educated on biosimilars and what they were, but since then, these products have driven down total cost of care, said Christine Pfaff, RPh, senior regional director of operations, American Oncology Network (AON).

At this year’s American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting, experts from AON presented an abstract on the impact of regional clinical pharmacists on selecting the most cost-effective biosimilar products. Through the biosimilar substitution program, AON’s practices saved $56.5 million in 2022.

Oncology biosimilars have seen the strongest adoption. Of the 37 FDA-approved biosimilars on the market in the United States, 22 of them have cancer indications.


What is an innovation that has changed oncology care over the last few years?

Biosimilars and products that are in that category and how we've seen our total cost of care go down with biosimilar use. Maybe 5 years ago, I think, we talked about “Are biosimilars the same or not?” And we were kind of getting through that understanding with the physicians, and it's not a generic, you know, so it's a bit different. And now that I feel like they are on board with the efficacy of the drugs, it's really trying to figure out how adding those products to our formulary and getting them to patients helps reduce total cost of care.

When you asked about innovation, I think biosimilars are a huge player in that for our practice, specifically, and really trying to utilize biosimilars to reduce our total cost of care for patients. It's been huge for us. I mean, a lot of the drugs were supportive care products—your neutropenia drugs or your anemia drugs—and those were very expensive. So, I mean, we've been pleased so far.

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