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Biosimilars are biopharmaceuticals such as biotechnologically produced proteins that no longer have patent protection and can therefore be brought to market more cheaply. This saves a lot of money in times of the COVID 19 pandemic alone because the average daily therapy costs for biosimilars are only 11.78 euros and those of the original biopharmaceuticals are 27.33 euros on average. These new figures from 2019 were published by the Pro Biosimilars working group (AG). The authors of the publication „Biosimilars in Figures 2019“ have also found out that biosimilars are becoming more and more popular for the statutory health insurance (GKV) because enormous costs can be saved, including in the future. According to the analysis, the total SHI drug market in 2019 will amount to 25.96 billion euros, while the biosimilar sector will be rather small at 0.8 billion euros. In contrast, one billion prescribed daily therapy doses of biopharmaceuticals (including insulin) swallowed up 7.8 billion euros. If the prescribed insulin doses for 2019 are subtracted, the sum of 6.9 billion euros that the GKV had to pay remains. In 2019, 14 biosimilars were available. The cheaper imitation products accounted for 13.3 percent of biopharmaceuticals, not including insulin prescriptions. According to the study, 434 million daily therapy doses were prescribed in the special group „biopharmaceuticals without insulin“, which is equivalent to approximately 57.7 million daily therapy doses of biosimilars. The authors of the publication have found out that the savings amount to 343 million euros. According to the authors, rituximab, a biotechnologically produced antibody that is mainly used in cancer immunotherapy, is the most commonly prescribed drug (79.1 percent).

Source: Ärzteblatt