CVS exec: biosimilars could discount expensive meds by 40% to 50%

The entrance of biosimilar drugs in the US could drive down the prices of expensive treatments by 40% to 50%, Troyen Brennan, chief medical officer at CVS Heath, told Reuters. His comments, according to the news service, “suggest US drug benefit managers will be pressing for much steeper discounts on new biosimilar drugs than the 20% to 30% widely expected by Wall Street.”

“We are probably going to see something that looks like more of a situation where there are multiple brands. In the past that didn't give you 98% discounts,” Brennan said in an interview with Reuters. “In the past, that would give you 40% to 50% discounts.”

He went on to suggest that two treatments could be pitted against each other—a tactic previously used by PBMs to lower prices of competing HCV treatments from AbbVie and Gilead Sciences. The first US biosimilar, Novartis's Zarxio, was approved last week.