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What to Know About Biosimilars

You may have heard talk in the news and online about biosimilars. A biosimilar medicine is U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved and just as safe and effective as the original biologic — but it costs less. Read on to learn more about this growing option for treating certain chronic and severe conditions:

Biosimilars are safe and effective. For biosimilars to be approved by the FDA studies must show that there are no differences in the safety and effectiveness of biosimilars compared to the original biologic medicines. Even though a biosimilar will be manufactured by a different company, it has the same benefits, is given at the same dose and strength, and is not expected to cause new or worsening side effects when compared with the original biologic.

Biosimilars are a type of biologic medicine made from living sources. That's why they can be harder to make than medicines made from chemicals, like asprin. But they still cost less to produce than the original biologic, and are priced lower.

Biosimilars are not generics. Like generic medicines, biosimilars are versions of medicines already approved by the FDA. But biosimilars are made from living sources, need a specialized process to make and are not identical to the original biologic. Generics are made from chemicals, have a simpler manufacturing process and are a copy of a brand name medicine.

Biosimilars may help you achieve your best health — and save on prescription costs. A biosimilar medicine may be covered by your Horizon Pharmacy benefits and provide access to an alternate treatment option at a potentially lower cost.

Source:, Biosimilars: What Patients Need to Know. Retrieved on June 14, 2023 from