[Skip to Navigation]
[Skip to Navigation Landing]
December 3, 2018

Biosimilar Filgrastim Use in the United States vs the European Union and Japan—Why Does It Lag Behind and What Can Be Done?

Author Affiliations
  • 1South Carolina Center of Economic Excellence for Medication Safety, College of Pharmacy, University of South Carolina, Columbia
  • 2William Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center, Columbia, South Carolina
  • 3Translational Research Center, University of Tokyo Hospital, Tokyo, Japan
JAMA Oncol. 2019;5(3):297-298. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2018.5636

The biosimilar pharmaceutical filgrastims, a less expensive version of the biologic pharmaceutical filgrastim, is the first global oncology biosimilar product. Unlike small-molecule generic drugs, biosimilar filgrastim was approved by regulatory agencies following review of clinical, toxicology, pharmacokinetic, and pharmacodynamic data. Adoption of biosimilar filgrastim can decrease health care costs and improve access to filgrastim products.1 In the European Union, 8 biosimilar filgrastim products account for 60% of filgrastim usage.2 In Japan, 3 biosimilar filgrastims account for 46% of filgrastim usage. In the United States, a single biosimilar filgrastim accounts for 15% to 26% usage.3