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Supply-side and demand-side policies for biosimilars: an overview in 10 European member states

Supply-side and demand-side policies for biosimilars: an overview in 10 European member states

Journal of Market Access and Health Policy 5(1): 1307315

This study aimed to provide an overview of biosimilar policies in 10 EU MSs. Methods: Ten EU MS pharmaceutical markets (Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and the UK) were selected. A comprehensive literature review was performed to identify supply-side and demand-side policies in place in the selected countries. Results: Supply-side policies for biosimilars commonly include price linkage, price re-evaluation, and tendering; the use of internal or external reference pricing varies between countries; health technology assessment is conducted in six countries. Regarding demand-side policies, pharmaceutical prescription budgets or quotas and monitoring of prescriptions (with potential financial incentives or penalties) are in place in eight and in seven countries respectively. Switching is generally allowed, but is solely the physician's responsibility. Automatic substitution is not recommended, or even forbidden, in most EU MSs. Prescription conditions or guidelines that apply to biosimilars are established in nearly all surveyed EU MSs. Conclusions: Important heterogeneity in policies on biosimilars was seen between (and even within) selected countries, which may partly explain variations in biosimilar uptake. Supply-side policies targeting price have been reported to limit biosimilar penetration in the long term, despite short-term savings, while demand-side policies are considered to positively impact uptake.

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Accession: 060296816

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PMID: 28740617

DOI: 10.1080/20016689.2017.1307315

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