FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 12, 2020
AN EASY WAY TO SAVE TEXANS’ HEALTH CARE DOLLARS
DALLAS – The Institute for Policy Innovation today released data from a recent study that showed how state and local governments in Texas can help address budget shortfalls as a result of the coronavirus pandemic by further encouraging their health plans to adopt the use of biosimilars.
Biosimilars are akin to generic versions of brand name drugs, with which many Texans are familiar. Biosimilars are “highly similar” to existing biologics and are approved by the FDA. Biologics are complex drugs that contain living cells usually injected or infused into the body; they treat diseases such as cancer and arthritis, and are also in vaccines.
“Biologic medicines have enabled important medical advances that have improved the lives of millions of Americans,” concludes Wayne Winegarden, Ph.D., author of The Biosimilar Opportunity: A State Breakdown, released by The Pacific Research Institute (PRI). “Biosimilars should be contributing to these advances by promoting greater affordability of these treatments.”
“It’s no secret that the coronavirus is decimating state and local budgets in Texas,” said Merrill Matthews, resident scholar with the Institute for Policy Innovation in Dallas. “One way they can help reduce health care spending and make up for some of that budget shortfall is by pushing a more aggressive adoption of biosimilars in their health plans.”
Matthews’ analysis of the PRI study shows that state and local governments in Texas could save as much as $22 million if 75 percent of biologics were substituted with biosimilars. “Consider that 90 percent of prescriptions sold in the U.S. are for generics,” said Matthews. “The potential for biosimilar growth is there, and it is promising.”
But biosimilars aren’t just good for government budgets. Biosimilars are also good for patients. They are, on average, 30 percent lower in cost than their biologic counterparts. And, rapid adoption of biosimilars will introduce more competition in the industry, further driving down costs, increasing innovation and improving patient access to new and different treatments.
“As Texans struggle to emerge from the pandemic, our leaders will need new and innovative ways to support state and local budgets—without further stressing taxpayer wallets,” said Matthews. “Biosimilars provide the short-term benefit of helping fill budget gaps, while also saving Texans money and advancing innovation in the long-run. That’s what we call a win-win-win.”
The full issue brief from the Pacific Research Institute can be found online: https://www.pacificresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/BiosimilarSavings_web.pdf
About the Institute for Policy Innovation
The Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI) is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy “think tank” based in Irving, Texas and founded in 1987 to research, develop and promote innovative and non-partisan solutions to today’s public policy problems. IPI’s focus is on approaches to governing that harness the strengths of individual liberty, limited government, and free markets.
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