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Emphasizing Biologics Space as Payer Priority


Kareem Karara, PharmD, BCPS, CCHP continues this discussion on unbranded biologics, discussing payer priorities for treatment options.

Kareem Karara, PharmD, BCPS, CCHP: To define a biologic and how they are different from small-molecule drugs, a biologic is a substance that is derived from a biologic source: human, animal, microorganism. [Biologics] include medications such as antibodies, blood products, and vaccines. Most drugs on the market today are small-molecule compounds that are manufactured through a type of chemical synthesis. The primary difference between those traditional small-molecule medications and biologic medications is that while the small-molecule drugs are chemically derived, biologics are extracted from living organisms.

The biologic space is a priority for payers because biologics represented 70% of the growth in US drug spending between the years 2010 and 2015. Biologics continue to account for the fastest-growing segment of prescription-drug spending in the United States. The global biologics market size was valued at $366 billion in 2021. According to Precedence Research, that global biologics market size is expected to be worth somewhere around $719 billion by the year 2030. So, it continues to grow. A higher share of biologics in the pharmaceutical market and the rising use of those drugs over traditional small-molecule drugs is driving their market expansion. An ever-increasing number of health conditions are also primarily managed with biologics. [These include] diseases like hemophilia, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic migraines, and cancers.

Transcript edited for clarity.

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