A new analysis finds that relatively minor changes to Medicare's payment policies could help jump-start the fledgling market for biosimilars.

Where it stands: The market for biosimilars is weak, and that means the drugs' expected savings aren't materializing. But Medicare could help kick things up a notch, according to Avalere estimates commissioned by a coalition of biosimilars manufacturers.

By the numbers: According to Avalere's calculations, biosimilars could reach somewhere between 26% and 46% market share if Medicare picked up the tab for seniors' out-of-pocket costs for the drugs.

  • That approach could save the government as much as $5 billion and seniors as much as $3 billion over 10 years, depending on the details, the analysis says.

How it works: Doctors' financial incentives matter just as much as patients', since most biologics and biosimilars are administered at a doctor's office.

  • Medicare could save billions over the long run by simply tacking on a payment bonus for biosimilars, the analysis says.
  • Letting doctors share in the savings that biosimilars bring to Medicare wouldn't save as much money, but would do more to help biosimilars as a class gain a stronger competitive footing.

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

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 30,782,337 — Total deaths: 957,037— Total recoveries: 21,032,539Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 6,764,962 — Total deaths: 199,258 — Total recoveries: 2,577,446 — Total tests: 94,211,463Map.
  3. Politics: In reversal, CDC again recommends coronavirus testing for asymptomatic people.
  4. Health: The dwindling chances of eliminating COVID-19.
  5. World: Guatemalan president tests positive for COVID-19 — The countries painting their pandemic recoveries green.

The positions of key GOP senators on replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talks to reporters on Capitol Hill last Thursday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

With President Trump planning to nominate his third Supreme Court justice nominee by next week, key Republican senators are indicating their stance on replacing the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg just over six weeks out from Election Day.

The big picture: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) has vowed that "Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate." But Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) told Alaska Public Media, "I would not vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee. We are 50 some days away from an election."

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

ActBlue collects a record $91 million in hours after Ginsburg's death

A makeshift memorial in honor of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Sept. 19. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

ActBlue received a record $91.4 million in the 28 hours following Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death, the Democratic donation-processing site confirmed to Axios late Saturday.

Why it matters via the New York Times: "The unprecedented outpouring shows the power of a looming Supreme Court confirmation fight to motivate Democratic donors."