7 Stats That Show What Providers Think About Biosimilars

Overcome barriers to adoption with ongoing outreach and education
May 10, 2023

Market competition will continue to increase and drug costs will decrease as more biosimilars launch. Although 2023 is shaping up to be a big year for biosimilars, barriers remain to widespread acceptance, including provider hesitation. The adoption of biosimilars depends on whether providers prescribe them.

Physicians may be more comfortable initiating treatment with a biosimilar if they’ve prescribed biosimilars in the past with success or if a patient is new to therapy. They’re less likely to switch a patient doing well on their existing drug therapy regimen to a biosimilar.

So, what do physicians think about these innovative products?

80% are concerned about reimbursementhttps://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30712393/

Some reimbursement policies may not encourage providers to use lower-cost biosimilars. Another challenge for providers is keeping up with the complexity of payor reimbursement strategies as new drugs come to market.

76% are concerned about patient disruptionibid

Starting a new medication or being switched to a biosimilar can be intimidating for patients who may face potential side effects and cost implications. 

Over 60% only feel comfortable prescribing an adalimumab biosimilar if it has an interchangeability designationhttps://www.cardinalhealth.com/en/product-solutions/pharmaceutical-products/biosimilars/biosimilars-report.html

Biosimilars continue to reach new therapeutic areas. However, physician specialists less experienced with these products, such as dermatologists and ophthalmologists, may hesitate to prescribe them.

Nearly 25% of ophthalmologists are either not familiar with the FDA approval process for biologics or believe approval pathways are the same for chemical and biologic drugsibid

48% of dermatologists cite efficacy as the top concern with prescribing biosimilarsibid

Even among providers who embrace biosimilars, prescribing practices are lagging.

76% of prescribed oncology drugs are still brand nameshttps://ascopubs.org/doi/abs/10.1200/JCO.2020.38.15_suppl.e15213

Only 18% of rheumatologists believe today's biosimilar economics are favorable enough to motivate them to switchhttps://www.cardinalhealth.com/en/product-solutions/pharmaceutical-products/biosimilars/biosimilars-report.html

Provider outreach, education, and support are key to provider acceptance and adoption of preferred drugs.

If we determine a biosimilar will be preferred on our formulary, ongoing engagement from our field team helps educate providers on clinical attributes and economic benefits and is a rich source of provider feedback. This team also helps with prior authorization, complex billing and claims processing, and proactive monitoring of patients to help identify any complications.

May 10, 2023