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European Biopharmaceutical Review

Calibrating Expectations

In Europe and the US, biosimilar drugs are gaining acceptance among physicians, payers, and patients in areas such as kidney disease, growth disorders, cancer, and auto-immune conditions. Progress has been slower in diabetes, but the pandemic nature and heavy cost burdens of the illness may fuel demand for biosimilars in the future. Examining the track record of follow-on biologics in other therapeutic areas can suggest constructive ways to envision the future for diabetes.

By many measures, the global epidemic in diabetes dwarfs other public health challenges. An estimated 60 million Europeans and 30 million Americans have diabetes today. In the US, about 1.5 million people are diagnosed with the disease each year. Many of them patients have transitioned from prediabetes, which affects 84 million Americans. The economic toll is also difficult to ignore.

Direct medical costs linked to diabetes come to about $237 billion a year in the US – more than for any other illness. Insulin and other anti-diabetic drugs, along with treatments for complications, make up 45% of total direct costs.

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Rafal Kokolus brings to Syneos Health more than 10 years of combined pharma consulting and drug development/commercialisation experience. He has supported several major pharma and biotech companies in maximising the commercial value of pipeline and in-line assets and optimising marketing and brand strategy. Rafal earned an MBA from University of Western Ontario’s Richard Ivey School of Business, Canada, and a BSc in cell biology and genetics from the University of British Columbia, Canada, and a Graduate Diploma in business administration from Simon Fraser University, Canada.

Dr Doug Niven specialises in pricing and market access at Syneos Health where he has been for the last six years. Prior to this, Doug worked within PwC’s Healthcare Strategy practice. Doug holds a PhD in physics from the University of Birmingham, UK, and a BSc in economics and finance from the University of London, UK.

Rohit Sood leads the global commercial strategy and planning practice at Syneos Health Consulting. During his 12 years at Syneos, he has advised clients in the areas of portfolio planning, commercialisation and launch excellence, and corporate strategy. Rohit has worked with several clients helping them think through their biosimilar go-to-market strategy.
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Rafal Kokolus
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Dr Doug Niven
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Rohit Sood
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