Federal purchases of biological drugs for cancer in Brazil

Biosimilars/Research | Posted 24/09/2021 post-comment2 Post your comment

Buying biosimilars is generally considered to be a way to increase access to cancer treatments in public health services. In Europe, the approval, commercialization and use of similar biotherapeutic products (SBPs) have been encouraged as a way to reduce costs and expand treatment coverage [1, 2]. In Brazil, an analysis of the profile of purchases of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) acquired by the Unified Health System (SUS) between 2015 and 2019 showed that this premise might not be true in Brazil [2].

Cancer Cell V13I20

Gabriela Mosegui, Cid Vianna and Thaís Catão analysed purchase data from oncology mAbs acquired by the federal government from the Integrated System of General Services Administration (SIASG). They evaluated the drugs by brand, regulatory category, year of registration, quantities purchased and weighted average price (PMP). The authors used a proxy since some biologicals are not only for cancer treatment [3].

A total of 22 mAbs (32 trade names) were authorized for commercialization in Brazil and were registered in SIASG; 20 originator drugs and 12 SBPs. This covered 88% of drugs approved in the last nine years. The Public System of Health spent approximately US$577 million on 2 million mAbs units, of which 11% were SBPs. Considering the brand and year of purchase and PMP adjusted by the Broad Consumer Price Index (IPCA), the prices of 26 biologicals and 43 presentations showed no variation around US$1,346.57.

There is a tendency to increase the amounts spent in the period analysed due to the greater quantity of products purchased. In turn, the prices of originator products, for most inputs, are lower than those of SBPs, reversing the international logic. There were no resource savings with the purchase of SBPs by the federal government.

The authors concluded that reducing these values can expand the Brazilian Government’s access to the Public Health System through public purchases carried out through transparent bidding processes, where competition is encouraged.

Conflict of interest
The authors of the research paper [3] declared that there was no conflict of interest.

Abstracted by Gabriela Bittencourt Gonzalez Mosegui, Health and Society Department, Fluminense Federal University, Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

GaBI Journal Citation Impact

1.9 – CiteScore 2020 (calculated on 5 May 2021)
2.0 – CiteScoreTracker 2021 (Last updated on 4 September 2021)

Submit a manuscript to GaBI Journal

Editor’s comment
Readers interested to learn more about spending on medicines in Brazil are invited to visit www.gabi-journal.net to view the following manuscript published in GaBI Journal:

Perceptions of the value of generics in Brazil

GaBI Journal is indexed in Embase, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index and more.

Readers interested in contributing a research or perspective paper to GaBI Journal – an independent, peer reviewed academic journal – please send us your submission here.

Related articles
The Brazilian generics market

Medicines spending in Brazil


The new section of the ‘Latin American Forum’ on GaBI has been launched. The objective of this new section is to provide you with all the latest news and updates on developments of generic and biosimilar medicines in Latin America in Spanish.

View this week’s headline article: Compras federales de medicamentos biológicos para el cáncer en Brasil

Browse the news in the Latin American Forum!

Register to receive the GaBI Latin American Forum newsletter. Inform colleagues and friends of this new initiative.


Se ha lanzado la nueva sección del ‘Foro Latinoamericano’ sobre GaBI. El objetivo de esta nueva sección es brindarle las últimas noticias y actualizaciones sobre desarrollos de medicamentos genéricos y biosimilares en América Latina en español.

Vea el artículo principal de esta semana: Compras federales de medicamentos biológicos para el cáncer en Brasil

Explore las noticias en el Foro Latinoamericano!

Regístrese para recibir el boletín informativo GaBI Foro Latinoamericano. Informe a colegas y amigos sobre esta nueva iniciativa. 

1. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Measures to promote the use of biosimilars [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2021 Sep 24]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/biosimilars/research/measures-to-promote-the-use-of-biosimilars 
2. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. The biosimilars market in Latin America: a summary [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2021 Sep 24]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/biosimilars/research/The-biosimilars-market-in-Latin-America-a-summary 
3. Mosegui GBG, Vianna CMM, Catão TP. Profile of federal purchases of monoclonal oncological antibodies in Brazil: analysis from 2015 to 2019. Brazilian J Health Rev. 2021;4(3):11054-70.

Permission granted to reproduce for personal and non-commercial use only. All other reproduction, copy or reprinting of all or part of any ‘Content’ found on this website is strictly prohibited without the prior consent of the publisher. Contact the publisher to obtain permission before redistributing.

Copyright – Unless otherwise stated all contents of this website are © 2021 Pro Pharma Communications International. All Rights Reserved.

comment icon Comments (2)
Post your comment
Posted 28/09/2021 by Mel Vianna
Federal purchases

More texts like this are needed.

Posted 28/09/2021 by Gabriela Bittencourt Gonzalez Mosegui
Federal purchases

For more studies like this. Describing and analyzing biological federal purchases in Latin America

Most viewed articles
About GaBI
Home/About GaBI Posted 05/08/2009
EU guidelines for biosimilars
EMA logo 1 V13C15
Home/Guidelines Posted 08/10/2010