First report card on biosimilars in oncology

December 01, 2020


Researchers have developed the first report card on biosimilars for three blockbuster cancer drugs marketed by Genentech/Roche: Rituxan, Avastin and Herceptin. In a Policy Review in The Lancet Oncology,

"The promise of oncology biosimilars leading to an estimated $50 billion in market savings for oncology care is not going to happen unless the Biden Administration and Congress get involved from day one of the new administration. A major hurdle is when AMGEN and Genentech/Roche pay their competitors hundreds of millions of dollars NOT to market their biosimilar version of blockbuster cancer drugs -- the so-called 'Pay-for-Delay' strategy. This strategy is not allowed with generic pharmaceuticals and extension of the end of this strategy for biosimilars under proposed bipartisan legislation led by Amy Klobuchar is imperative." -Y. Tony Yang, professor at the GW School of Nursing and Milken Institute School of Public Health

"It is apparent that the intersection of law and medicine is proving to be a bigger hurdle than anyone anticipated for oncology biosimilars. Rather than patients having ready access to less costly formulations of blockbuster cancer drugs, 'Pay-for-Delay' deals and a bevy of patent lawsuits by AMGEN and Genentech/Roche hold the oncology biosimilar market hostage. Under the Biden Administration, dramatic changes in these barriers must occur if the U.S. is going to catch-up to the success that is seen in the European Union and Japan."
- Charles L. Bennett, professor at the University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy


The Policy Review, "
The Lancet Oncology. To schedule an interview with Dr. Yang, contact Tim Pierce at

This work was supported by a National Institute of Health grant to Dr. Bennett's Southern Network on Adverse Reactions (SONAR) program, a program that Bennett and Yang have collaborated on for a decade.

George Washington University

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