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Will big pharma exit the biosimilar market when margins start dropping?

Will big pharma exit the biosimilar market when margins start dropping?

As prices drop, Big Pharma will exit the biosimilar space over the next five to 10 years, says industry expert Sarfaraz Niazi. Amgen, Novartis and Pfizer refute the claim, saying they are in the sector for the long-term.

Blockbuster biologic originator companies are, by definition, Big Pharma firms and the target of biosimilar developers. Roche and AbbVie, two of the firms most susceptible to biosimilar erosion, have vocalized the need for a stringent regulatory framework – including calls for appropriate data, individualized labels, and unique identification for all biotherapeutics – while attempting to bat off competition by reformulating products and beefing up both their pipelines and IP.

But at the other end of the Big Pharma spectrum, there are several firms that dominate the biosimilar European and US markets, namely Novartis, Pfizer and Amgen, which all claim to have some of the largest biosimilar pipelines in the industry.

Novartis – through its Sandoz division – has been marketing biosimilars for over a decade in Europe, and was the first to launch a biosimilar in the US after Zarxio, its version of Neupogen (filgrastim), received approval in 2015.

Pfizer, which was the first to launch a version of J&J’s Remicade (infliximab)...

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