Biosimilars – Great opportunity or massive threat?

By Lee Ronan, Commercial Director, CSL

I was at a conference recently and one of the presentations was on biosimilars and specifically what the impact of a biosimilar launching would have on their brand. This got me thinking, surely the NHS publishes something useful on this topic?

Unsurprisingly, they do. I was able to obtain biosimilar uptake rates for Etanercept, Infliximab & Rituximab. These data are available from January 2017 (July 17 for Rituximab) up until January 2018, with a new monthly refresh due shortly. Even better, these data are published at NHS Trust level so you can quickly see how uptake varies from trust to trust.

To give you a few snippets as to what these data tell us: –

  • Biosimilar uptake appears to get quicker with each new product that has a biosimilar launch
  • 83 (about 65%) of all trusts that use Infliximab now have 90% or greater biosimilars usage vs 10% or less brand
  • 21 of these have 100% biosimilar usage levels
  • 89 trusts already have greater than 50% Rituximab biosimilar use, despite biosimilars only launching in Q2 2017
  • There doesn’t appear to be a clear correlation between biosimilar uptake of one molecule vs another

So, to try and answer the question posed, I think it is clear to say biosimilars are a great opportunity (if you have one) and a massive threat (if one is launching against your brand).

If this sounds interesting to you and you want to know more, please contact me at

This is just one example of the value ‘open data’ can provide.

Source: NHS BSA, data released under the open government licence v3.0

Biosimilars great opportunities or massive threat

Featured Article

Economic Factors Squeezing Pharma