Updated Jul 22, 2021 - Axios Events

Watch: A conversation on biosimilars and drug development

On Thursday July 22, Axios senior editor Sam Baker and health care reporter Caitlin Owens discussed the future of biosimilars and other innovative approaches to lowering the cost of treatment for patients in the U.S., featuring Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) and Carolina Blood and Cancer Care CEO Dr. Kashyap Patel.

Rep. Kurt Schrader discussed bipartisanship in drug pricing policy, the role of the FDA, and efforts to increase the adoption of biosimilars.

  • On improving public awareness of biosimilars: "I think beyond just the price range, there's got to be a little more of a public relations campaign about [their] benefits...Once we start getting some increased uptake, we can then encourage FDA to continue to approve more and more of these biosimilars."
  • On bipartisan policymaking: "I would say there's actually a fair amount of bipartisanship in [drug pricing policy]...Pharmaceutical companies seem to be stepping up at this point in time, willing to be part of the solution, as are some of the insurers and manufacturers."

Dr. Kashyap Patel expressed his views on the biosimilars markets and the impact its affordability and accessibility could have for patients with long term diseases.

  • On the unique challenge faced by patients who require long-term care: "The price takes its own toll on cancer patients with [more] patients facing out-of-pocket costs. It becomes hard for them to sustain the level of cancer care. I think biosimilars definitely help assimilate some of that kind of challenge."
  • On the promises of biosimilars for reducing cost of care: "[Oncologists] have seen a huge potential saving that has been achieved...We form a very small segment. But I'm proud to say that we adopted it so well and we've seen the success in reducing the out-of-pocket costs on the total cost of care."

Axios SVP of Events & Creative Strategy Kristin Burkhalter hosted a View from the Top Segment with Viatris' President of Developed Markets, Tony Mauro, who discussed biosimilars as an opportunity to increase access and reduce cost for patients.

  • "In the US today, we have approximately $500 billion in pharmaceutical spend. 20,000 marketed products make up the great majority of that spend in health care from a medical standpoint. Out of that spend 45%, over $200 billion alone from biologic products...I believe one of the biggest opportunities we have to drive both access and reduction in spend is by introducing biosimilars."

Thank you Viatris for sponsoring this event.

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