Hang in there, Biosimilars! Leveraging awareness for a sustainable European market


Hang in there, Biosimilars! Leveraging awareness for a sustainable European market

Maria Cristina Cinici - Alba Marino - Daniela Baglieri

Objectives. A growing number of biological medicines, including biosimilars, have been developed and approved over the past decade, improving patients’ lives worldwide (Vulto et al., 2020). Although these have effectively treated numerous diseases, patients’ adoption has been limited (IQVIA, 2020). Innovation scholars and industry experts have taken into account regulatory frameworks, economic incentives, clinical evidence, and patient preferences to question the biosimilars market’s sustainability in the long-term (Niosi, 2017; Simoens & Cheung, 2020). They have revealed, for instance, that some biosimilar policies and purchasing mechanisms restrict the participation of competitor products in specific markets, apply increasing price pressure or push physicians to switch patient product use (de Mora, 2019). Yet, little is known about how stakeholders’ awareness shapes biosimilar adoption.

Broadly speaking, how innovations get adopted has been a key concern of strategy scholars for decades (Erat & Kavadias, 2006; Hannan & McDowell, 1984; Majumdar & Venkataraman, 1998). There are numerous theories on the adoption and diffusion of technological innovations that are inherently deterministic and linear (e.g., Rogers, 1995). Scholars have recently begun to explore the role of socio-cognitive factors in the stakeholders’ framing and understanding of innovative technologies (Grodal, Gotsopoulos, & Suarez, 2015; Kennedy & Fiss, 2013). This literature has highlighted an apparent paradox that every new technology needs to overcome. On the one hand, innovative technologies have to differentiate themselves from existing technological offerings; in other words, they must convey ideas of novelty, creativity, and originality. However, at the same time, innovations have to appear familiar enough to stakeholders and invoke existing understandings to minimize the natural reluctance to something new and unproven (Bingham & Kahl, 2013).

#awareness #biosimilars #European biosimilar market #technology adoption