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Photo: Dwight Eschliman/Getty Images

It's too soon to throw in the towel on biosimilars, especially because there's evidence that they're lowering the net costs of biologics, Alex Brill and Benedic Ippolito of the American Enterprise Institute argue in a Health Affairs blog.

Why it matters: The authors were refuting an April post in Health Affairs that argued biologics are a natural monopoly, so biosimilars aren't going to work.

What they're saying: The number of biosimilars in development is increasing, and two biologics facing biosimilar competition — Neupogen and Remicade — have begun offering bigger discounts to stay competitive, even though their list prices haven't come down.

The bottom line: "Although prices likely will not reach close to marginal costs ... this does not imply that biologics, writ large, are natural monopolies in any traditional sense of the concept," Brill and Ippolito write.

  • The big question going forward, Ippolito told me, is how low biologic prices will go.

Go deeper: How to jump-start a fledgling class of new, cheaper drugs

Go deeper

Local news moves to the inbox

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A slew of new companies are launching platforms for local newsletters, a shift that could help finally bring the local news industry into the digital era.

Driving the news: Substack, the email publishing platform for independent journalists, on Thursday announced a new local news platform.

J&J vaccine pause hurts its reputation

Reproduced from Economist/YouGov poll; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans' confidence in the safety of Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus vaccine took a big dip this week after the pause in its use, per new YouGov polling, even though the risk of blood clots following the shot is extremely low, if it exists at all.

Why it matters: For the majority of people, particularly high-risk Americans, getting the J&J shot is almost certainly less dangerous than remaining vulnerable to the coronavirus.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Inflation will rise. Don't panic

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

It's been 40 years since America last saw a damaging level of inflation. Yet despite that — or perhaps because of it — inflation fears are widespread, and could even become self-fulfilling.

Why it matters: The government's strategy for bringing back employment and widespread prosperity involves a necessary — yet temporary — increase in inflation. When an entire generation has never experienced such a thing, that can be disconcerting. And for the time being, Americans are not buying what the government is selling.

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