Biosimilars are becoming indispensable in the management of multiple diseases although concerns still exist

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Global expenditure on medicines is rising driven by increased expenditure on medicines for immunological diseases, cancer and orphan diseases1. This is principally new biological medicines, often with very high prices and limited health gain2-4. This is a concern as it threatens universal healthcare where this exists potentially negatively impacting on the image of biologicals5-6. In addition, high prices for biological medicines to treat patients with immunological conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases, and psoriasis, have made them unaffordable for patients in lower- and middle-income countries (LMICs) with typically high co-payments denying them access to effective therapies7-10. High prices have also resulted in concerns with their cost-effectiveness in LMICs11. The same concerns with affordability for biological medicines for immune diseases are also seen in oncology with medicines such as trastuzumab12-14, as well as cancer care generally among some LMICs15. We are also seeing rising expenditure on medicines generally as a result of ageing populations with an associated increase in non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and changing clinical guidance2,16. This is putting further pressure on healthcare systems as they strive to reduce morbidity and mortality of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) as part of the Sustainable Development Goals17-19, and increased availability of lower cost biosimilars can help address this.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-10
Number of pages6
JournalBangladesh Journal of Medical Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • adalimumab
  • biosimilars
  • demand-side measures
  • generics
  • insulin glargine
  • savings


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