15 April 21 | US | The Centre for Biosimilars reported a poster presented at AMCP 2021 shows a New York state Medicaid biosimilar preference initiative was successful in increasing biosimilar use in 2019. Biosimilar substitution is not permitted at the pharmacy level in New York, and provider prescriptions are required. The switching program was supported by months of biosimilar promotion and education among plan beneficiaries who were receiving originator biologics.
20 April 21 | Huons Lab announced it has reached an agreement with PanGen Biotech for the development of biosimilar denosumab. Under the agreement, Huons Lab will gain access to PanGen Biotech’s cell line manufacturing and purification technology.
21 April 21 | Roche published its Q1 2021 earnings report, noting significant impacts from biosimilars. In particular, Roche attributed a combined sales reduction of CHF 1.6 billion to the impact of rituximab, bevacizumab and trastuzumab biosimilars.
21 April 21 | CA | New Brunswick announced it has introduced a biosimilar switching program, expected to save the province $10 million once fully implemented. New Brunswick reported that government spending on biologics accounted for 29.4% of drug costs but only represented 1.5% of the total number of prescriptions paid. British Columbia, which operates a similar program, recently expanded its switching program to include adalimumab and etanercept.
23 April 21 | CA | AbbVie announced it has received approval from Health Canada for Humira® (adalimumab) for the treatment of pediatric patients with ulcerative colitis.
26 April 21 | AU | Australia’s PBAC published the outcomes of its March 2021 meeting. The recommendations include:
- Mvasi® (Amgen’s biosimilar bevacizumab): the PBS listing has been changed to an unrestricted benefit to allow access to combination treatment with atezolizumab.
- Beovu® (brolucizumab): Beovu® was recommended for subfoveal choroidal neovascularisation due to AMD.
- Keytruda® (pembrolizumab): PBAC recommended Section 100 Authority Required listing for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer.