By Anna Rose Welch, Editor, Biosimilar Development

A few weeks ago, I had the great fortune to be invited to Pittsburgh to moderate a half-day roundtable event hosted by the Pittsburgh Business Group on Health (PBGH). This roundtable event was one of several provided via a grant through the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions. The goal was to bring together a group of employers to discuss current drug pricing challenges, formulary decisions, and strategies for managing healthcare. Those of you who are regular readers will know that, over the past year or so, I’ve made it a goal of mine to connect with several different employer organizations to discuss the impact employers can have on biosimilar uptake as well as how these organizations are working with and educating their constituents. (For those just tuning in, here’s a link to a past Biosimilar Development newsletter specifically focused on a few of my more recent writings about employer coalition efforts.)

This roundtable was valuable for several reasons. First and foremost, it not only brought employer coalitions to the table, it also united a highly engaged group of employers from across the U.S. While we talk about drug spending, there’s often little acknowledgement of the employer, which shoulders much of the healthcare cost burden. During the several hours we had together, we discussed these employers’ concerns about unmanageable specialty drug costs, biosimilar education needs, and their questions about integrating biosimilars into their health plans. In addition to educating employers about biosimilars, there was also a presentation and discussion introducing many in attendance — including myself — to the emerging world of gene therapies.

In this first of what will be two articles delving into the insights shared at this roundtable, I’ll share my thoughts on which types of biosimilar-related knowledge will be most valuable to employers. Though this event encompassed a small cross-section of employers, the discussions and questions asked revealed the topics that need to be considered, reiterated, and regularly reinforced.  Read more!

 

The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints express by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of Pittsburgh Business Group on Health, its board or its employees.