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October 3, 2016
By 2020, the biologic drug market is projected to reach approximately $390 billion, which will account for a third of the global pharma market. This growth will create an increased demand for biosimilars, says Ravi Limaye, president of Marketing at Biocon in the 2016 CPhI Annual Industry Report. By 2020, Limaye says, biosimilars will enter the market of multiple key biologics that currently have sales of $50 billion annually.
With the spread of pandemic and non-communicable diseases, biologics like insulin and monoclonal antibodies are becoming important treatments for patients suffering from diseases such as diabetes and cancer. But the high price tag of these treatments means they may be out-of-reach for low- and middle-income countries, Limaye notes. This need for high-quality affordable treatments can be met with biosimilars.
Biosimilars may also provide an effective alternative to more expensive biologic treatments for patients in emerging markets. Many emerging markets are working towards finalizing guidelines for biosimilar approval pathways. Emerging markets such as Brazil, Russia, China, South Africa, Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, and Turkey, all provide viable opportunities for companies looking to bring biosimilars to market.
Biosimilars also provide growth opportunities in developed markets, Limaye says. Developed markets such as the European Union, United States, and Japan are encouraging the entry of high-quality affordable biosimilars. Developed markets currently have the largest number of biosimilar molecules in development, Limaye says in the report.
Issues of interchangeability still affect healthcare provider’s decisions to prescribe a biosimilar or a reference product. Limaye says there is a clear lack of guidance on this subject. The only way this issue can be addressed, he notes, is through education. Biosimilar manufacturers have a key role to play in educating doctors and patients about the safety and efficacy of biosimilar drugs.