Press review

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Biosimilars 'will reduce Spain’s drug bill by €2.5 billion'

Country : Spain, Sweden, Germany

Keywords :
MADRID, 11 Jan (APM) - Approval of biosimilar medicines is linked to a 30% drop in prices of originators and savings of €2.4 billion in Spain’s drug bill between 2009 and 2020, medical journal Diario Médico reported on Thursday.
It has been 13 years since the European Commission approved the first biosimilar medicine, Sandoz’s growth hormone somatropin. Biosimilar approvals have been slowly but steadily increasing to the current 52 products approved for a total of 15 active ingredients, the journal reported.
There are 39 biosimilar drugs approved in Spain, 27 of which are available on the market. The effect of biosimilar approvals on originators, which are pricey medicines that are difficult to access for patients, has been “devastating”, Diario Médico said.
According to data provided by Spanish Biosimilar Association BioSim, the average drop in price of originators is 30% once biosimilar versions are available in Spain.
Speaking at a recent meeting organised by Biogen, BioSim director general Regina Múzquiz said that in the period from 2009 to 2016, Spain’s national health system had seen drug expenditure fall approximately €478 million thanks to biosimilars.
The figure is expected to rise to €2.4 billion between 2017 and 2020, with a substantial number of new biosimilars available, Diario Médico noted.
Fernando de la Mora, professor at the University of Barcelona and also a speaker at the meeting, added that drop in prices per patient/year means many more people will have access to biological drugs. “We will be able to use these drugs earlier, which usually results in better results; we can also invest savings generated by biosimilars in innovative drugs, as Italy is doing,” he said.
De la Mora also cautioned that as long as originators can be sold at exactly the same price as biosimilars when these are launched, branded medicines will have an advantage, which could jeopardise the development of future biosimilars, Diario Médico added.

Spain’s Rovi acquires Hexal anticoagulant for German market

Spain’s Rovi has paid Hexal €9 million to market anticoagulant Falithrom (phenprocoumon) in Germany, daily La Vanguardia, financial Cinco Días and medical journal Diario Médico reported on Wednesday.
According to data provided by IQVIA consulting, 2017 net sales of the product in Germany were around €3.5 million, Cinco Días reported.
Falithrom is used for the prevention and treatment of thromboembolic diseases including venous thrombosis, thromboembolism and pulmonary embolism, as well as for the prevention of ischemic stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF).

CHMP disregards omega-3 fatty acid medicines in cardiac prevention

The European Union will no longer authorise medicines based on omega-3 fatty acids to prevent further cardiac events in patients with a previous myocardial infarction, daily ABC, Europa Press agency and a number of regional newspapers reported on Thursday and Friday. (APMHE 61086)
A review of the available data about these medicines was carried out by the European Medicine Agency (EMA)'s CHMP advisory committee following a petition by the Swedish medicines agency in March 2018, ABC said.

AstraZeneca hires controversial Spanish oncologist

José Baselga, who resigned from his position as chief medical officer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York after The New York Times exposed his failure to disclose payments from pharma in various research papers, has been hired by AstraZeneca to lead its R&D unit, it was widely reported on Tuesday. (APMHE 61326)
Dailies La Razón, La Vanguardia, El País and El Periódico and financials Expansión and El Economista carried the story on Tuesday.

Lilly acquires Loxo in €7 billion deal

Eli Lilly has announced an agreement to acquire U.S. firm Loxo Oncology in a $8 billion (€6.9 billion) deal, daily El Periódico, financials Cinco Días, Expansión, Europa Press agency, medical journals Diario Médico and Redacción Médica reported on Monday. (APMHE 61318)
Loxo was founded in 2013, and focuses on the development and commercialisation of highly selective medicines for patients with genomically defined cancers, most of the stories noted.

EMA recommended 42 new drugs in 2018

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended 42 new active substances for marketing authorisation in 2018, a 20% increase from the previous year, financial El Economista, Europa Press agency, medical journals Diario Médico, El Médico Interactivo, IM Médico Hospitalario reported on Thursday. (APMHE 61303)
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