Dr Elaine Husni: Huge Savings With Biosimilars Have Not Manifested

November 12, 2019

While biosimilars have brought down the cost of therapies, the savings are not quite as huge as providers may have been led to believe when biosimilars were initially under development, said Elaine Husni, MD, MPH, vice chair and director of the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Center in the Orthopedic and Rheumatologic Institute at the Cleveland Clinic.

While biosimilars have brought down the cost of therapies, the savings are not quite as huge as providers may have been led to believe when biosimilars were initially under development, said Elaine Husni, MD, MPH, vice chair and director of the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Center in the Orthopedic and Rheumatologic Institute at the Cleveland Clinic.

Transcript

In rheumatology, are biosimilars bringing down the cost of treatment for patients just yet?

So, I do think bringing down the cost of therapy is important. It has to be affordable—these patients are usually on it for long periods of time. This is a chronic illness, so we are dealing with the healthcare value-based system as a whole. I do think that biosimilars, in my mind, when they were first being developed, was that they would have huge cost savings. So, in my mind, huge cost savings is not 10%, 20%, 25%, which is what we’re seeing. To me, huge cost savings is at least slashing it down by half. Half price—50%, right? So, I’m not seeing that.

So, I do think that it’s not as cost saving as I had hoped. So, it’s a little bit of a letdown when I’m only seeing a small percentage decrease in biosimilars.