Global Savings from Biosimilars Could Reach $383 by 2027

Annual savings from biosimilars could be more $100 billion by 2026, according to IQVIA’s latest Global Use of Medicines report.

From 2023 to 2027, global cumulative savings from biosimilars are expected to be $290 and could be as high as $383 billion, according to IQVIA’s recent Global Use of Medicines report. In 2026 and 2027, annual savings from biosimilars could be more $100 billion on a global basis.

“The largest driver of medicine spending through the next five years is still expected to be global COVID-19 vaccinations, but leaving aside the pandemic, global spending on medicines continues to be driven by innovation and offset by losses of exclusivity and the lower costs of generics and biosimilars,” Murray Aitken, executive director of IQVIA Institute for Human Data Sciences, said in the introduction of the report.

IQVIA analysts, however, said in their report that “questions remain around the relationship of interchangeability, alternative originator formulations, and the commercial and negotiating strategies of stakeholders which could dramatically increase or reduce the impact of these biosimilar events.”

IQVIA predicts spending on branded biologics will be $42 billion lower over the five years as new biosimilars — that reference AbbVie’s Humira (adalimumab) and Janssen’s Stelara (ustekinumab) — begin to reach patients this year. Humira is a widely prescribed drug in the United States, with sales of more than $17 billion in 2021 in the Unites States alone. Eight biosimilars for Humira are expected to launch this year. The most recent biosimilar is Fresenius Kabi’s Idacio, which was approved in December 2022. Amgen’s Amjevita will be the first one launched in January, with the others following in the second half of the year. These include: Organon's Hadlima, Boehringer Ingelheim’s Cyltezo, Coherus BioSciences’ Yusimry, Viatris’ Hulio, Sandoz’ Hyrimoz, and Pfizer’s Abrilada.

Just last week, the FDA accepted a biologics license application (BLA) for Alvotech’s ustekinumab biosimilar candidate (AVT04) referencing Stelara, which will be used to treat several autoimmune disorders, according to a statement from the company. The company said it expects the FDA’s decision in the second half of 2023.

Stelara, developed by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, is indicated for the treatment of patients with psoriatic arthritis, plaque psoriasis, and inflammatory bowel disease, which is an umbrella term for ulcerative colitis and Crohn disease.

Amgen is developing another Stelara biosimilar, ABP 654, and has submitted data to the FDA. But Janssen last month sued Amgen, claiming two of its patents were infringed. Topline results of ABP 654 show that there is no clinically meaningful difference between the two drugs.

Other key insights from the IQVIA Global Use of Medicines:

  • Global medicine spending — the amount spent purchasing medicines from manufacturers before off-invoice discounts and rebates — is expected to reach $1.9 trillion by 2027, increasing at a rate of 3% to 6% per year. Key drivers of growth include the contribution of new products, the impact of patent expiries and the growing impact of biosimilars.
  • The U.S. market, on a net price basis, is forecast to grow -1 to 2% CAGR over the next five years, down from 4% CAGR for the past five years including projected effects of the Inflation Reduction Act. Spending on medicines in the United States at invoice prices is expected to increase by $134 billion through 2027, slower than the $164 billion increase over the past five years
  • Global spending for cell, gene, and RNA therapies will grow from current $8 billion in 2022 to $27 billion by 2027. While there is much R&D in this area, uncertainties remain about the outcome of clinical research and safety risks. Additionally, IQVIA expects lower uptake of gene and cell therapies because of more limited reimbursement.
  • Specialty medicines will represent 43% of global spending in 2027 and more than 55% of total spending in developed markets. Global spending on cancer drugs is expected to reach $370 billion by 2027.
  • COVID-19 continues to have an impact on pharmaceutical markets globally and is estimated to expand the net cumulative pharmaceutical market by $500 billion from 2020 through 2027, mostly linked to vaccines. Disruptions in demand for many other medicines, due to delayed diagnoses, continue to play out although global market growth is forecast to return to pre-pandemic projected levels by 2024.