DiCE Highlights the Need for Timely Access to Medicines at the 20th Biosimilars Conference in Amsterdam

April 23, 2024

We were glad to contribute to the discussions on the best ways to future-proof access to much-needed cancer medicines.

Over the next 10 years, nearly 1/3rd of biologic loss of exclusivities will be oncology biologics; however, current pipeline information indicates a significant downward trend in the number of biosimilar candidates being developed (from 4 to 1 per reference molecule), creating a ‘biosimilar void’. DiCE participated in the discussion exploring the reasons behind this trend and looking at solutions to nurture biosimilar competition and foster re-investment of savings into high-impact interventions. 

DiCE highlighted the disparity in access to biologic treatments across Europe.

According to the OECD data, the mean time from EMA approval to public reimbursement/coverage of biologics varies from 100 days in Germany and Sweden up to more than three years in countries like Latvia, Lithuania, and Cyprus, while biosimilars are characterised by even a greater variation between countries, ranging from around 200 days in Germany and Spain to between 700 and 835 days in Greece, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Slovenia, and almost 1 400 days in Cyprus. Countries with a higher share of publicly reimbursed/covered biosimilars tended to have shorter periods between EMA approval and public reimbursement/coverage.

Complexity in the process and regulatory framework, combined with low reimbursement rates, can hamper the launch of biosimilars in Europe and obstruct access to biologics for patients where they need them the most. However, DiCE believes that biosimilars should not be seen purely in economic terms but also in the context of the security of the medicines supply in Europe.

Money saved by using biosimilars in the healthcare system should be reused for prevention and investment in other badly needed areas of oncological treatment or care, etc.

However, in some cases, the prescription of biosimilars needs substantial awareness raising among healthcare professionals and patients alike.

DiCE suggests that in terms of incentives, a localised gain share approach could increase the uptake and savings. Where both healthcare providers and patients could see tangible savings being made, the savings should be used to fund service delivery and enhancements for the benefit of patients.

Regulators and policymakers need to improve certainty in the regulatory framework to ensure that the right incentives and policies are in place for biosimilars. DiCE, at its end, is committed to raising awareness and assisting patients in actively participating in this sometimes complex ecosystem.

Aleksandra Kaczmarek

In order to facilitate the use of our website, we use cookies.

Please confirm if you accept our tracking cookies. When declining the cookies, you can continue visiting the website without sending data to third party services. Read our complete cookie statement here.