Biosimilars and generic drugs are poised to slow drug cost growth this year, a new report indicates.
Total drug spending increased 7.7% from 2020 to 2021 to $576.9 billion, driven by an uptick in the utilization of COVID-19 therapies, according to an American Society of Health-System Pharmacists analysis. Drug prices only increased 1.9% in 2021, in part thanks to new biosimilars and generics that came to market.
Drug spending rose 4.9% to $535.3 billion from 2019 to 2020 while prices ticked up 0.3%.
"Biosimilars really took off this year," Eric Tichy, lead author of the report and division chair of supply chain management at Mayo Clinic, said in a news release. "In oncology, we're using more biosimilars than we are the originator drugs. A couple of years ago there was a lot of consternation about the uptake of biosimilars being slow, but that has turned around. Their use is likely to continue growing and it's saving the healthcare system a lot of money."
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