Biosimilars could save taxpayers millions: researchers

Government spending on biologic drugs could be slashed by half a billion dollars a year if biosimilar competitors are brought to market sooner, researchers say.

Public health advocates have produced the first “comprehensive estimate” of expenditure on biologics based on PBS and RPBS data, finding that 41 original drugs cost $2.2billion in 2015-16, accounting for 20% of spending on pharmaceuticals.

By applying the standard 16% price reduction to brands when a generic or biosmilar is PBS-listed, they estimated at least $367 million would have been saved if there