Jul 3, 2019

The case for biosimilars

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

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Acting Navy secretary resigns over handling of virus-infected ship

Thomas Modly. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly resigned Tuesday after apologizing for comments he made about Capt. Brett Crozier, who was removed when a letter he wrote pleading with the Navy to address the coronavirus outbreak aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt was leaked to the press. The resignation was first reported by Politico.

Why it matters: The controversy over Crozier's removal was exacerbated after audio leaked of Modly's address to the crew, in which he said Crozier was either "too naive or too stupid to be a commanding officer of a ship like this." After initially backing Modly's decision, President Trump said at a briefing Monday that he would "get involved."

Go deeperArrowUpdated 12 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Appeals court allows Texas abortion ban to remain during coronavirus outbreak

Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo: Tom Fox-Pool/Getty Images

A federal appeals court in Texas ruled 2-1 in favor of an executive order by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday that prohibits abortions during the coronavirus outbreak.

The big picture: Abbott last month issued the order banning elective procedures in an effort to save medical supplies like masks and gowns for health workers treating the coronavirus. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton noted one day later that the order applied to abortions — unless the woman's life is at risk.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 1,412,103— Total deaths: 81,103 — Total recoveries: 298,352Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 386,800 — Total deaths: 12,285 — Total recoveries: 20,191Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Acting Navy secretary resigns over handling of virus-infected ship — Trump removes watchdog overseeing rollout of $2 trillion coronavirus bill.
  4. Business latest: America's food heroes in times of the coronavirus crisis.
  5. World latest: China reopens Wuhan after 10-week coronavirus lockdown.
  6. Wisconsin primary in photos: Thousands gathered to cast ballots in-person during the height of the coronavirus crisis in the U.S.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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