Drugmakers are well aware of the biosimilars threatening to steal sales and market share from some of the world's best-selling biologics.
Doctors, though? Not so much, a new report suggests.
Doctor platform and community QuantiaMD recently surveyed 300 primary care physicians and specialists to find out just how much healthcare providers knew about the drugs. 78% of those polled said they were familiar with the term "biosimilar," but only 38% could name one under consideration for FDA approval that would be relevant to their patients, Medical Marketing & Media report.
To make matters worse, only 17% of the doctors Quantia deemed most likely to prescribe biologics--and, thus, the most likely to prescribe biosimilars in the future--said they were "very likely" to do so. 70% said they either weren't sure or were "somewhat likely" to write a biosimilar script.
That's a problem for the copycat pharmas looking to steal a piece of the pie from blockbusters like Amgen's ($AMGN) Neupogen, AbbVie's ($ABBV) Humira and Johnson & Johnson's ($JNJ) Remicade. Whether biosimilars pick up steam will largely depend on doctors--and on their likelihood to order them for patients.
Right now, only one biosimilar has FDA approval, and that's Zarxio, a Novartis ($NVS) copy of Neupogen that won't roll out until September, per court orders.
In the meantime, though, what can drugmakers do to get the word out to docs? "There's a lot of opportunity for education," Rachel Daricek, QuantiaMD's senior director of client services, told MM&M. " … They haven't seen any efficacy and safety data or seen any communication from pharma or their organization--they don't know what to think."
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