The US Department of Veterans Affairs Announces Adoption of Adalimumab-bwwd, with Jon Martin

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Jon Martin, US Commercial Lead of Biosimilars at Organon, discusses the decision to select biosimilar adalimumab-bwwd and its potential implications on the pharmaceutical market.

The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced its exclusive selection of biosimilar adalimumab-bwwd (Hadlima) in replacement of the reference product, adalimumab, for the VA National Formulary.

In an interview with HCPLive, Jon Martin, US Commercial Lead, Biosimilars at Organon, discusses this decision and the potential implications on the pharmaceutical market and the broader landscape of biosimilar adoption in the US.

The VA has intentionally made decisions to seek high-quality, cost-effective products, particularly when it comes to utilizing biosimilars and has emerged as a strong advocate for biosimilar adoption.

In the case of Organon, this marks the third instance where the VA has chosen their biosimilar through national solicitation. This strategic move enables the VA to offer high-quality products at a more affordable price, resulting in significant savings and allowing resources to be allocated beyond just treatment.

It's important to note biosimilars are safe and effective alternatives, demonstrating no clinically meaningful differences from the reference product. The VA has consistently supported biosimilars from their early stages. Their preference for biosimilars involves a comprehensive evaluation process considering factors like price, non-price attributes, and the overall profile to meet their specific healthcare system needs.

This initiative in the biosimilar market highlights a significant healthcare system advocating for structural changes that can positively impact the biosimilar market. Martin and his team anticipate more healthcare segments across the US to follow suit in the future.

When discussing the pace of biosimilar adoption in the US, it is essential to recognize that certain molecules have experienced rapid adoption, as seen in cancer therapies. However, there is room for improvement in incentivizing prescribers to choose lower-cost alternatives. Aligning incentives transparently across the marketplace can drive better adoption rates.

Martin explains we are in the early stages of forming the biosimilar market, with 6 or 7 molecules subject to biosimilar competition in the US, and the future potential is intriguing. Every 3 to 5 years, the market potential for biosimilars expands, suggesting over time, biosimilars could be a key solution to address affordability issues in the US healthcare system.

Biosimilars offer patients a chance to participate in cost savings. With pricing strategies significantly lower than the reference product, up to 85% in many cases according to Martin, patients in the US could benefit from reduced co-pays, contributing to overall affordability in the healthcare landscape.

Jon Martin has no disclosures to report.

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