The U.S. biosimilars market lags Europe’s and won’t catch up until physicians understand and become comfortable with the concept of similarity, Sheila Frame, who heads up Sandoz’s North American biosimilars business, told BioCentury. To create this comfort level, biosimilars companies need to present physicians with clinical data gathered in the U.S., she said.
Other prerequisites for broad uptake of biosimilars in the U.S. include changes to contracting practices, and the creation of economic incentives for prescribing biosimilars, she said.
The Sandoz unit of Novartis AG has bet big on the U.S. biosimilars market. Its Zarxio filgrastim-sndz, a biosimilar version of Amgen Inc.’s Neupogen filgrastim, became the first FDA-approved biosimilar in March 2015. It was launched six months later, and by 2018, Zarxio had overtaken Neupogen’s sales volume in the U.S.
Sandoz has received FDA approval for two other biosimilars; Erelzi etanercept-szzs, a version