Expanding Use of Biosimilar Pegfilgrastim Could Save Millions, Study Says

May 10, 2020

Expanding access to biosimilar pegfilgrastim (Ziextenzo) for patients at intermediate risk of febrile neutropenia and converting patients at high risk who are on the reference product (Neulasta) could save millions in healthcare costs, according to new study results.

A new study funded by Sandoz indicated that expanding access to biosimilar pegfilgrastim (Ziextenzo) to patients at intermediate risk of developing febrile neutropenia (FN) and converting patients at high risk who are already taking the reference product (Neulasta) could save millions of dollars in health care costs.

Reference pegfilgrastim tends to be prescribed only for patients with cancer who are at a high risk of FN, rather than for those who are at intermediate and low risk, due to its high cost.

A poster on the study was presented during the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy’s AMCP eLearning Days virtual meeting in April.

“Expanding biosimilar pegfilgrastim prophylaxis to patients at intermediate risk of FN would not only reduce total costs but also reduce healthcare resource utilization, including hospitalization and emergency department visits,” said Weijia Wang, MSc, an associate director at Sandoz and the study’s lead author.

The investigators created a 5-year projection of savings from converting patients from reference to biosimilar pegfilgrastim and applied it to a hypothetical 1-million member health plan with a mixture of commercial payer and Medicare plan participants. Converting patients at high risk of FN to the biosimilar would have resulted in savings of $5.3 million in 2020, rising to $32.8 million by 2024, researchers said.

To read more of this story, visit The Center for Biosimilars.