Pfizer believes a dose of confidence will help it sell biosimilars

As drug prices climb and expensive newcomers inspire payers to get creative to contain costs, a window is widening for meds that can drive efficiency for healthcare systems and address consumers' needs. That's where biosimilars come in--or so Pfizer ($PFE) figures.

The company is looking to cash in on a biosimilars trend it hopes will score big sales once the copycat drugs hit the U.S. market, with 5 monoclonal antibodies under development. Unsurprisingly, they're modeled after some of the world's top-selling drugs; Pfizer's biosimilars for Roche ($RHHBY) and Biogen Idec's ($BIIB) MabThera/Rituxan, Roche's Herceptin, and Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ)/Merck's ($MRK) Remicade are all in Phase III development, while its biosimilar copycat to Roche's Avastin recently completed a Phase I trial and its version of AbbVie's ($ABBV) $11-billion-a-year seller Humira is in the early testing stages.

As Diem Nguyen, general manager of Pfizer Biosimilars, told FiercePharmaMarketing in an email, Big Pharma players like Pfizer have the wherewithal and R&D know-how to develop biosimilars, and the company is "actively engaging" with local markets to support patient safety and access, Nguyen said. Read more from FiercePharmaMarketing >>