Biosimilars - An investment with excellent long-term prospects
The global market for biological products is expected to reach around US $ 291 billion in 2020 and, in 2022, 50% of the pharmaceutical market share is expected to be in biological products. This growth trend is also present in biosimilars, where it is expected that, in 2030, the market will exceed the 240 billion dollars, while the patents of the main biologicals continue to expire.
According to data from the Ministry of Health, 15% of the budget of approximately, 18.6 billion reais spent on purchases of medicines distributed by SUS in 2016 is corresponded to biological medicines, however, in quantity they represent only approximately 4% of the total distributed. In the United States the scenario is no different. An article in The Economist magazine dated November 10 of 2018 points out that less than 2% of the American population undergoes treatments with biological medicines, but these treatments represent about 35% of the expenses with medicines in the country.
A benefit in the development of these products presented in several surveys, carried out mainly in the USA and Europe, point out that the entry of biosimilar products on the market reduces the price of medications and, in many cases, increases the number of patients that the State is able to treat. Research commissioned by the European Commission found a consistent reduction in the price of entire therapeutic areas in several European countries with the entry of competition for biosimilar products. In another survey, this time carried out by the World Health Organization, it was pointed out that biological products that were on the list with potential entry of new competing biosimilars, had their prices reduced by approximately 50% in comparison to biological products that still had no competitors in sight.
But there are still barriers to be overcome, such as the concern of the public that still does not know the biosimilar medicine, the high cost of development and the worldwide discussions related to the control of health spending by governments and private health entities, as discussed in the previous texts.
Brazil has been moving towards the development of biosimilar medicines, investments have been made in the country, factories have been built, and about 40 PDPs have been made to enable the development of these medicines.
In summary, the entry of biosimilar products contributes to facilitating patients' access to treatments, and as the high cost and complexity of development are barriers to entry, the attractiveness for the pharmaceutical industries is quite high as it minimizes the massive competition that occurs in the case of synthetic generics.