Biotechnological drugs, or biosimilars, play an essential role in the treatment of many chronic diseases. In recent years, public authorities have been increasingly confronted by the need to provide all patients with access to the most effective medical innovation, while at the same time preserving the financial balance of the country’s social security system.
France has lagged behind other European countries in the adoption of biosimilars but has now embraced a proactive policy in positioning itself as a haven for their development. As a result, the French market is experiencing unprecedented growth with an average annual increase in sales of 32% since 2012; this is reinforced by the government’s ambitious plan to incentivise the development of biosimilars, as well as the French National Health Strategy for 2018-2022, which sets out to reach 80% penetration in the reference market by 2022.
In line with this strategy, in February 2018, the Social Security Department under the Ministries of Health and Action established an incentive system to encourage hospitals to prescribe biosimilar medicines delivered in the city. This has led to a significant number of laboratories entering the marketplace, motivated by the expiry of key patents. Nevertheless, the French market is still emerging, and many challenges remain.