US: Here come the oncology biosimilars in the US - how low will prices go?

19-08-2019

US: Here come the oncology biosimilars in the US - how low will prices go?

(Source:RAPS 2019-08-19)

A quick look at biopharma’s top-selling drugs (including forecasted sales through 2024) reveals a trio of biologic cancer treatments that have been marketed since 1997 and will likely bring in a cumulative total of more than $300 billion.

But biosimilar competition for Roche’s Herceptin (trastuzumab), Avastin (bevacizumab) and Rituxan (rituximab) is now ready to launch in the US, and Bernstein biopharma analyst Ronny Gal said in a report issued Friday that prices overall “are likely to decline by 70% in five years.”

The prediction comes as last month, Amgen and Allergan said they would launch Mvasi (bevacizumab-awwb) and Kanjinti (trastuzumab-anns) with list prices 15% lower than their reference products, and Mvasi priced 12% below the current Avastin Average Selling Price (ASP) and Kanjinti priced 13% below the current Herceptin ASP.

But Kanjinti will see competition from four other trastuzumab biosimilars approved by FDA. And unlike Amgen, which launched at-risk (and will not see its sales halted for now), the other companies have settled with Roche and likely will not launch until late 2019 or 2020, according to Gal.

“Hypothetically, price can go down 90%+ given the higher starting point of US prices,” Gal wrote in reference to trastuzumab. “With five competitors, market price could crash, but the companies involved in the first wave are all pretty sophisticated and the buyers are fragmented.”

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