Developing access to biologicals remains challenging

Home/Reports | Posted 18/03/2022 post-comment0

In a report, carried out at the request of the European Commission, data analysis firm IQVIA, found that the development of access to biologicals in Europe remains challenging [1].


Despite significant list price reductions, subsequent confidential rebates and increasing competition to markets not all European countries have been either willing or able to increase access to biologicals.

In fact, despite the fact that Europe accounts for 80% of global spending on biosimilars, uptake varies significantly between different countries. This variation is mostly attributed to differences in the healthcare systems between different countries, but is also due to differing attitudes in the different countries [2]. On a per capita basis, central and eastern European markets lag western European countries, with treatment guidelines and approaches to biosimilars being considered as limited factors.

An additional factor, that may also influence the potential savings, is the usage of the protected brand-name biological prior to loss of exclusivity. Countries with low spending on biologicals prior to the advent of biosimilars will also have limited future savings, see Figure 1.

Figure 1: Brand-name biological spending prior to loss of exclusivity

GW 4751G 4 Fig1 V22C18AU

Source: IQVIA [1]

This means that western European countries that were already spending considerable amounts on biologicals have the most to gain by promoting the use of biosimilars and this drives biosimilar uptake in these countries.

Access to biologicals has seen growth in some molecules, e.g. pegfilgrastim. However, access to the molecule has not seen significant changes for several years which highlights that in many instances there were patients unable to access the treatment.

Conflict of interest
The authors of the report [1] did not provide any conflict-of-interest statement.

Editor’s comment
Readers interested to learn more about access to biologicals are invited to visit to view the following manuscript published in GaBI Journal:

Access to safe and effective biopharmaceuticals

Promoting access to biosimilars: a public−private partnership model for biosimilar development in underserved populations

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.

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1. Troein P, Newton M, Scott K, et al. The impact of biosimilar competition in Europe: December 2021. IQVIA.
2. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. European uptake of biosimilars []. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2022 Mar 18]. Available from:

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