The first biosimilar drug for use in the USA has been approved by the FDA, which is a drug that is used to help the body make white blood cells while undergoing cancer therapy. This drug, known as Zarxio, is produced by Sandoz Inc., and is close alternative to Neupogen.
Although it might not seem important, this is a huge step for the FDA, because it means millions of Americans will have access to this drug, which can save their lives, and also provide cheaper options than biologics. Biologics are drugs that are made out of living cells and are not synthesized, and these drugs have also become some of the most expensive cancer drugs on the market. In terms of lower-cost cancer treatments, biosimilar drugs act almost as a copy of the biologic, so essentially a generic version of this highly-specific agent. Since there has been no competition in the biologics class for so long, drug companies have been able to increase the prices for these drugs, as demands skyrocket within the USA. Now, more companies will be able to create generic biosimilar drugs that have the same effect as the biologic drugs, but give millions of Americans access, which in turn will drive down health care costs.
Currently, in the countries where biosimilars are used, there is about a 34% decrease in costs of the medication, but if more companies develop this type of drug, then that price could go even lower. This biosimilar drug is both just as safe and effective as the other drugs out there that do the same thing, which means doctors will also have more choices in prescribing medication.