Funding Innovation Thanks to Anti-TNF-α Biosimilars Uptake: The Economic Impact in Italy

Massimiliano Povero, Lorenzo Pradelli

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7175/fe.v21i1.1449

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Anti-TNF-α biosimilars (ATB) hold the promise of reducing costs leading in improving access to bio-logical therapies. There is limited insight into how the savings generated by biosimilars may translate into patient benefit in other disease areas.

AIMS: To assess the economic savings for Italian National Health System (NHS) due to the expansion of ATB market, together with a reduction in their price and to illustrate how this potential savings can be used by NHS to fund orphan drugs.

METHODS: Trend of IMS Health monthly sell-in units (August 2016-December 2019) were used to estimate the current biologic and biosimilar market for rheumatic and inflammatory bowel disease in Italy and its evolution up to 2022. The scenario for 2019-2020 was compared with the future evolution (2021-2022) assuming an increasing uptake of biosimilars in the Italian market. Finally, it was estimated how these savings can potentially fund the treatment of orphan drugs, without increasing the Italian NHS budget.

RESULTS: Italian biologic and biosimilar market remains stable in the next years (about 4 million units both in the current scenario and in the future evolution market) with a slight decreasing of less than 2%. However, according to our assump-tions, ATB market is expected to increase of about 33% in the next two years, covering 67% of the total Italian market, mostly due to biosimilar etanercept. Total savings due to biosimilars increases from € 96 million in 2019 to € 161 million in 2022 corresponding to a mean annual savings of about € 130 million. Such savings would permit funding 17.4% of the actual orphan drugs market corresponding to 2,600-4,800 new patients.

CONCLUSIONS: The introduction of biosimilars in a range of rheumatic, dermatological and inflammatory bowel disease can be an opportunity to increase patient access to innovative treatments. Potential savings due to biosimilars uptake could lead to a re-allocation of economic resources to fund innovative therapies.

Keywords

Anti-TNF-α; Biosimilar; Savings; Funding innovation; Orphan drugs

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