What are biosimilars?

Who is this for?

Michigan Health Insurance – Customer Service – Learn More

If your provider gave you the option to take a biosimilar instead of a brand-name drug, this information can help you know the difference.

Biosimilars are FDA-approved drugs that are highly similar to brand-name drugs. Biosimilars are a mixture of molecules composed of living materials.

Are biosimilars the same as generic drugs?

No. Generics have identical active ingredients to brand-name drugs and are made from synthesized chemicals.

Biosimilars are like brand-name drugs and are made from living organisms.

While biosimilars are biologically produced, generic medicines are chemically synthesized. 

Is it safe to switch to a biosimilar?

Biosimilars are FDA approved. They're as safe and effective as their brand-name counterparts.

Biosimilar products have been used in Europe for more than 10 years. A 2017 international task force determined that switching to a biosimilar drug is not associated with any significant safety or therapy risks. This is supported by multiple studies that also show no significant differences in safety or effectiveness for patients who switch from one drug to another and those who do not.

Will switching to a biosimilar change my treatments or my drug's effectiveness?

No. The process and experience will be the same. You should expect the same effectiveness as you do from the drug you are taking currently.

Why am I being asked to switch to a biosimilar if my current therapy is working?

The biosimilar is a safe and cost-effective option to treat your condition. This allows the health plan to cover these high-cost products while keeping the cost of health care affordable.

Where can I learn more?

Go to fda.gov and search the term “biosimilar.”

Talk to your doctor if you have questions about your biosimilar treatment.

If you have questions about your benefits, please call the Customer Service number on the back of your member ID card. We’re here from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. TTY users should call 711.