Dr Charles provides his closing insights, focusing on unbranded biologics targeted for pipeline development.
David Charles, MD: One thing that’s exciting about biologics, biosimilars, interchangeable biosimilars, and unbranded biologics is that they create more options for our patients. If you were to ask me how the United States is doing in the adoption of biosimilars or interchangeable biologics, I’d say that we’re certainly making progress on it, and that the FDA has accelerated and approved many more medications. Some years back, people complained that we were behind the European Union in adopting biosimilars, but we’re rapidly catching up.
Going forward, if you were to ask what originator biologics are likely to begin offering an unbranded biologic of their products, I don’t know [the answer]. I don’t have insight into manufacturer decisions on topics like this. I’m a neurologist and there are so many disease states. But here’s 1 thing I do know: originator biologics are going to have a large portion of the market share for the diseases they treat. As biosimilars come along, that introduces competition. The opportunity for a manufacturer to introduce an unbranded biologic plays into that competition. At the end of the day, for me as a clinician and for my patients, more competition is often a good thing. I want more options when I treat my patients, and more competition should mean that we have decreasing cost as time goes on.
When I look forward on the horizon of biologics, biosimilars, and unbranded biologics, the 1 message I’d share is that it’s incredibly exciting. Every year at our medical school, we welcome 100 new people who are eager to become physicians, and they couldn’t be joining medicine at a more exciting time. Biologics, biosimilars, and in the future, unbranded biologics will offer unprecedented options for physicians, other clinicians, and patients in the treatment of what can be seriously disabling or even life-threatening illnesses. I’m excited to see the continued development. The products in the pipeline are amazing and super exciting, and [the outlook] for biologics, biosimilars, and unbranded biologics is incredibly positive.
Transcript edited for clarity.