Charting COVID-19’s Disruptive Effect on Biosimilar Development and Use
The year 2020 has seen just 2 biosimilars approved in the United States. This is well down from the 10 approved by the FDA last year. Although by the FDA’s count there are 90-some biosimilar development projects in the works, the pace of approvals does not reflect this. The reason may be coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
As it took hold in the epicenter in Wuhan China at the outset of 2020, COVID-19’s first effect on the biosimilar industry was to shut down a $514 million biosimilar factory construction project. As the autumn season unfolded, those plans were still in abeyance. The new coronavirus then rippled through clinics and communities in the United states, causing patients to cancel and postpone treatments and screenings, and causing health care centers to reshuffle priorities. This affected prescribing patterns for biosimilars in ways that may not be fully understood for months.
In the biopharmaceutical industry, sales programs were rejiggered to conform to a virtual world of business. New technologies were deployed to market the handful of biosimilars that were launched during the early months of the pandemic. Digital rapidly replaced in-person visits by pharmaceutical sales representatives, hastening an ongoing transformation that many do not expect to be reversed when the COVID-19 dust has settled.
A new eBook from The Center for Biosimilars® discusses the multiple ways in which COVID-19 has affected biosimilars in clinical practice and in business. It also reviews the hope invested in these agents for new therapies for treatment of COVID-19, as well as a biosimilar-related process potentially able to verify which COVID-19 vaccines can develop the level of antibody resistance needed to overcome this disease.
Check out these stories in the new eBook, “The Disruptor: How Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Has Affected the Development and Uptake of Biosimilars.”
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