Expert Discusses Challenges That Exists Around Biosimilars at AMPC Annual Meeting

In an interview with Pharmacy Times®, Chelsee Jensen, PharmD, pharmaceutical formulary manager at Mayo Clinic, discusses biosimilar usage in health systems and challenges that come with it.

In an interview with Pharmacy Times®, Chelsee Jensen, PharmD, pharmaceutical formulary manager at Mayo Clinic, discusses biosimilar usage in health systems and challenges that come with it at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy Annual Meeting.

Q: How widely adopted are oncology biosimilars within health systems currently, and what do you think the trend around adoption will be like in the future?

Chelsee Jensen: So I can't speak for other health systems, but within Mayo Clinic, I would say our biosimilar adoption has been very positive. We still are seeing about 20% of patients remaining on some reference products, mainly Trastuzumab and Bevacizumab at this point, uptake of Filgrastim has been extremely successful in our biosimilar space.

So I think we'll continue to see supportive care agents really edge out the reference products. But going forward, I would anticipate that we will continue to see increased biosimilar usage as our providers understand that there are no safety and efficacy concerns that are occurring financially. It is most beneficial for payers and for patients, and it has been extremely beneficial for our health systems as well and in promoting price transparency.

Q: What are the challenges that still exist around adoption and access to oncology biosimilars from a health systems perspective?

Chelsee Jensen: From a health systems perspective, the biggest challenge continues to be specific pair demands. There is cost associated with updating your electronic health record, if it ever were to get to the point where we did have to switch out our preferred products that would be a major lift from a health system perspective. So I think that continues to be the biggest challenge, and unfortunately, we just continue to have to carry significant amount of inventory to accommodate payer demands, especially across the four states that we operate in.