Background The patent expiries of leading biological products and the development of biosimilars create opportunities for cost savings. No studies have been carried out in the French hospital market.
Purpose To perform a cost saving modelling analysis and investigate the potential factors that could affect the price of drugs.
Materials and Methods We carried out a comparative study in French healthcare facilities, representing about 65% of national hospital beds, of the price of erythropoietic factors. The data were collected on procurement procedures operative as of 1 January 2012.
Results 25 care facilities agreed to participate in the study. The overall sales turnover reached €15 M. Biosimilars represent less than 1% market share. All the establishments granted a discount of between 5% and 69% on the prices fixed by negotiation between the Comité Economique des Produits de Santé and the manufacturers, depending on the category (drugs, biosimilars or original biopharmaceuticals). The average discounts ranged from 11% to 73%. Binocrit, the main biosimilar represented was 25.6% less expensive than its original medicine Eprex. Based on French hospital financing, we show a 24.7% cost saving if a high interchangeability rate is adopted. Some participants could save up to 50% of their budget.
We identified and analysed three criteria known to have a far-reaching effect on the drugs price. We observe no or little effect of the type of procurement procedure and specified quantity of medicine. The starting date of the contract is the primary criterion when purchasing drugs. The impact of these criteria varied depending on the drug in question and no general conclusions about medicines could be drawn.
Conclusions The market for biosimilars is growing at a faster rate than the global prescription-drug market. Many top-selling biologicals are due to lose patent protection over the next few years. The great potential for cost savings apparent in our study could be investigated in other countries.
No conflict of interest.
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