Here Are Some of the Big Cost Takeaways From the Latest US Biosimilar Data

Using data from IQVIA, the Amgen Biosimilars Trend Report released this month laid out the latest market data on how biosimilars are faring in the categories outside of insulin.

The data emphasize one key trend: Biosimilar competition drives down the average sales price (ASP) of the category; this happens quickly for many categories, even those with modest discounts at launch. Please note that the ASP accounts for pricing discounts and rebates based on wholesale acquisition costs, but it is not a perfect comparator (e.g., there is a lag in ASP reporting, and it does not fully account for other types of contracting, such as portfolio pricing).

Reference DrugDate of First Biosimilar LaunchDrop in Reference ASP Since Biosimilar Launch*Greatest ASP Difference Between Biosimilar and Reference Drug*
Herceptin (trastuzumab)July 2019–12%–33% (Kanjinti)
Avastin (bevacizumab)July 2019–11%–25% (Mvasi)
Rituxan (rituximab)November 2019–6%–30% (Truxima)
Neupogen (filgrastim)September 2015–1%–55%† (Zarxio)
Neulasta (pegfilgrastim)July 2018–41%–0%‡
Remicade (infliximab)November 2016–51%–8% (Avasola)
Epogen/Procrit (epoetin-alfa)November 2018–30%–0%‡
*As of Q2 2021. Adapted from 2021 Amgen Biosimilars Trends Report, based on IQVIA data. †The ASP difference in Q2 2021 between Granix (a follow-on agent) and Neupogen is 63%. ‡The ASP decline of the reference product is greater than that for the biosimilars as of Q2 2021.
  • Three trastuzumab biosimilars were, according to data based on ASP pricing in Q2 2021, at least 38% below the ASP of the reference product at the time of biosimilar introduction (Ogivri, Kanjinti, and Trazimera). The ASP of Viatris’ Ogivri® is now at 45% below that for Herceptin® in Q3 2019. The reference product’s ASP has fallen by 12% since that time. The other trastuzumab biosimilars have discounts closer to 25%. The total biosimilar marketshare has climbed to 70%, led by Kanjinti (44% total marketshare), followed by the reference product, at 30%.
  • Similar to trastuzumab, biosimilars for bevacizumab have captured 69% of total volume. The reference product has less than one-third of the market, and Mvasi® has nearly half. Mvasi, which launched in Q3 2019, is now priced 36% below the ASP of Avastin® when the biosimilar first launched. Avastin’s ASP has dropped 11% during that time. The ASP of Zirabev® is also 31% below the Q3 2019 reference price (largely based on an initial 19% discount on Zirabev at launch in Q1 2020).
  • Rituximab biosimilars have shown similar declines in pricing, with Truxima® having a 36% lower ASP price today compared with Rituxan®’s ASP price in Q4 2019. However, the ASP price of Rituxan hasn’t moved much (only down 6%) over that time. Biosimilars account for 55% of the marketshare, but Rituxan at 45% retains the greatest share by volume. Truxima and Ruxience® are neck and neck, at around 27%–28%.
  • The pegfilgrastim figures are a bit more notable for one reason—the reference product (Neulasta®) has experienced a 41% drop in ASP price since the introduction of Fulphila® in Q3 2018. Both Fulphila and Udenyca® have experienced similar ASP declines (40% and 36%, respectively), but their actual ASP is not all that different from Neulasta’s as a result. Neulasta Onpro® retains half of the marketshare in this category, with Udenyca second at 18%. Biosimilars account for 37% of the share by volume.
  • The oldest biosimilar category in the US is that for filgrastim, and Amgen’s reference product Neupogen® has notseen virtually any reduction in ASP pricing since the Q3 2014 launch of Sandoz’s Zarxio®. However, the relative ASP reductions since that time of all of the other competitors exceed 55%, with Zarxio’s ASP drop reaching 64% in Q2 2021. It is not surprising that Sandoz has captured 54% of the marketshare. Teva’s Granix®, the 505b2 agent that predated the biosimilar approvals, is similarly discounted and accounts for 17% of the share by volume.
  • The epoetin alfa category has only one biosimilar competitor, and Retacrit® currently holds 30% of the market. The ASPs of Retacrit and the reference products Epogen® and Procrit® have dropped 25%-30% below that from Q4 2018.

Even though Remicade®’s marketshare of the infliximab market is only slowly eroding, the big story is that the ASPs of the reference product and the biosimilar competitors are 50% or more below the ASP of Remicade when Inflectra® first launched in Q4 2016. In Q2 2021, Pfizer’s Inflectra marketshare has clawed its way to 17%, while Remicade’s portion is down to 74%.

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