Short-term costs associated with non-medical switching in autoimmune conditions
Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology. 2019 Jan-Feb;37(1):97-105
To estimate short-term costs associated with non-medical switch (NMS) from originator biologics to biosimilars among stable patients with autoimmune conditions in rheumatology, gastroenterology, and dermatology from a US provider's and third-party payer's perspective.
An economic model was constructed to estimate switching costs related to physician time and healthcare resource utilisation (HRU) at the initial NMS visit and over 3 months. The proportion of patients with relevant conditions treated with originators and expected NMS rate, physician time, HRU, and payer reimbursement were derived from a physician survey. Switching costs were estimated for a practice of 1,000 patients with relevant conditions by therapeutic area and for an insurance plan with 1 million individuals by therapeutic area and all areas combined. Switching cost drivers were assessed with one-way sensitivity analyses.
Physicians expected extra 6 minutes for the NMS visit and 22 minutes over 3 months; NMS rates of 14.4%, 15.5%, and 17.7%; and 11.3%, 16.2%, and 33.2% of time not reimbursed for gastroenterology, rheumatology, and dermatology, respectively. The total switchingcosts for payer's were $771,460 (for n = 3,609 patients with an NMS rate of 16.6%), mostly due to follow-up visits and additional laboratory tests/procedures. In sensitivity analyses, the NMS rate was the main cost driver. Increasing the NMS rate to 25% and 50% increased payer's total switching costs to $1.19 and $2.39 million, respectively.
Originator-to-biosimilar NMS in stable patients with autoimmune conditions could result in considerable switching costs for both providers and payers.