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Biosimilar medicines have delivered 18BN€ total savings for Europe but more action needed to translate this potential into patient access and sustainable health systems


16 Dec 2021


Health & Consumers

Over the next decade, many more biological medicines are set to lose market exclusivity, representing an opportunity to increase competition and offer invaluable resources for healthcare systems to improve patient access and healthcare budget sustainability while significantly reducing equity gaps across Europe.

The annual IQVIA report, entitled ‘The Impact of Biosimilar Competition in Europe’ , describes the evolution in price, volume, and market share following the arrival of biosimilar competition in Europe. In a series of five key observations, it is evident that biosimilar medicines deliver benefits and efficiency for patients and healthcare systems whenever they are used successfully. In their report IQVIA notes:

  • COVID-19: The COVID-19 pandemic impacted patients receiving biological treatment, particularly cancer patients.
  • Savings: Since the start of biosimilar competition, EU countries have saved 18BN€, highlighting the important role of biosimilar medicines in the affordability and sustainability of healthcare.
  • Access: Development of patient access to biological medicines remains challenging, even when biosimilar medicines are available, emphasising that countries need to do more to capitalise on the potential for expanded access with biosimilar medicines.
  • Competition: The competitive environment underlines the increasing diversity of biosimilar competitors.
  • Future: Countries need to prepare to fully seize the increasing opportunity with biosimilar medicines, adapting the regulatory and market environments in support of biosimilar medicines development for smaller patient populations.

Commenting on the presentation of the IQVIA report, Isabell Remus, Chair of the Biosimilar medicines sector group of Medicines for Europe, stated: “Patients should have equitable access to the therapy they need irrespective of where they live. However, in Europe we still see unacceptable inequalities. For over 15 years, biosimilar medicines have provided effective solutions that balance patient access and healthcare sustainability. Now, healthcare systems face steadily increasing costs, and the COVID-19 pandemic is just making the situation more challenging, jeopardising access, equity, and sustainability. Biosimilars are part of the solution, and they will only deliver their full potential with the continuous and strong support of the European Commission and every member state implementing the suitable policy interventions in support of uptake.”


The Biosimilar Medicines Group

The Biosimilar Medicines Group is a sector group of Medicines for Europe representing the leading companies developing, manufacturing and/or marketing biosimilar medicines across Europe. With more than 10 years of positive patient treatment experience and 20 products successfully launched, biosimilar medicines provide today a huge opportunity to deliver significantly improved access to modern therapies for millions of European patients in both chronic and acute care. Our members bring competition to the biological medicines market, thereby increasing access to highly innovative treatments to patients, in Europe and around the world, and supporting the sustainability of the European healthcare systems.

About Medicines for Europe

Medicines for Europe represents the generic, biosimilar and value added medicines industries across Europe. Its vision is to provide sustainable access to high quality medicines, based on 5 important pillars: patients, quality, value, sustainability and partnership. Its members directly employ 190,000 people at over 400 manufacturing and 126 R&D sites in Europe, and invest up to 17% of their turnover in R&D investment. Medicines for Europe member companies across Europe are both increasing access to medicines and driving improved health outcomes. They play a key role in creating sustainable European healthcare systems by continuing to provide high quality, effective generic medicines, whilst also innovating to create new biosimilar medicines and bringing to market value added medicines, which deliver better health outcomes, greater efficiency and/or improved safety in the hospital setting for patients. For more information please follow us at and on Twitter @medicinesforEU.

Medicines for Europe Communications:

Kate O Regan