Distributors Play a Role in Patient Access Programs

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Distributors can help manufacturers create patient access programs that reduce costs, copays, and co-insurance.

Biosimilar cost savings hinges on patient access. That’s why distributors—such as Cencora—work closely with biosimilar manufacturers to gain access to every biosimilar currently on the market in the United States, said Lakesha Farmer, Senior Director, Strategic Accounts, ION Oncology Practice Network at Cencora. “This ensures that our customers have access to every product that they need to provide their patients with these lower cost options,” she explained.

“From a GPO [group purchasing organization] perspective, our specialty GPO teams collaborate with all manufacturers to help negotiate and curate unique and competitive GPO contracts that provide lower cost options for biosimilars through invoice discounts [and] rebates,” Farmer added, while offering market access resources and services “to assist [partners] with the creation of patient assistance programs for biosimilar agents during the pre-commercialization process.”

While some biosimilars have been launched with both branded and non-branded versions, the “vast majority” of these products are marketed as branded products. “Most biosimilars suppliers offer robust patient access programs, similar to that of their reference products, which helps to level the playing field” in the competitive landscape, Farmer said. These patient access programs, which include co-pay assistance programs, free drug programs, and discount cards, can make the adoption of biosimilars more attractive—and affordable—to patients.

Farmer sat down with Drug Topics at AXS24, the Asembia Specialty Pharmacy Summit, held April 28 to May 2 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Click here for more of our coverage from AXS24.

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