Biosimilars are FDA approved, safe, effective and lower-cost alternatives to brand name biologics. With an increase in biosimilar approvals, policymakers are considering proposals to unlock significant cost-savings with biosimilars claimed by groups like RAND.
So, how much do US consumers know about biosimilars and what do they think of them? To answer to these questions, the Biosimilars Forum leveraged the HarrisX Poll to ask 1,201 US adults their thoughts on the issue. This is what we found out:
- Biosimilars are still mostly unknown to US adults
- A majority of Americans (65%) admit not being familiar at all with the term “Biosimilars”. But regardless of how familiar they were with the term, 42% of Americans favor an increasing access to Biosimilars and 47% were not sure.
- Increasing access to biosimilars starts with a strong base of unaided support. That support grows to well over two-thirds when voters learn more about biosimilars/biologics and two Medicare proposals.
- When given a basic description of what Biosimilars are, 75% of us adults favor an increasing access to Biosimilars.
- Support for increasing access to biosimilars holds across party lines. Democrats and Republicans largely favor (79% and 77% favor, respectively). Independents/other also favor (68%) but with more undecided (19%) than opposed (13%).
- Possible proposals of the Medicare pilot savings program and a program that includes $0 copay for Medicare patients get strong support across party lines—with both Democrats and Republicans at 74% or above in favor. (See table at the end of this post for full wording of description)
- A previous poll on Biosimilars conducted by HarrisX for the Biosimilars Forum in October 2019 shows strong support for similar proposals, with 68% in favor of a Medicare shared savings model for biosimilars and 73% in favor of eliminating copays for Medicare patients with biosimilars.
- Most voters think prescription drug costs for difficult diseases, the kinds treated by biosimilars and biologics, are high.
- Over two-thirds (69%) think costs are high for treating difficult diseases (i.e., those treated by biologics and biosimilars).
- For Comparison, prior polling by HarrisX for the Biosimilars Forum in October 2019 showed that 54% of respondents believe their general prescription drugs costs are high, showing how much more worried people are on prescription costs related to difficult diseases.