Analysis: Amgen fighting on both sides of the biosimilars battle

Under the provocative headline "Game Poacher or Gamekeeper – Big Pharma's Stance on Biosimilars", Forbes contributor Simon King delineates the multi-pronged strategy of Amgen ($AMGN) in the biosimilars game. It's a big deal because of the uncertainty of how the FDA will review biosimilars and the billions of dollars that the healthcare system could save with copycat versions of expensive biologic drugs. Amgen, the world's largest biotech, is fighting on both sides of the biosimilars battle, developing a pipeline of knockoff versions of biologics such as Roche's ($RHHBY) Herceptin and AbbVie's ($ABBV) Humira while pushing for restrictions on U.S. pharmacists' ability to dole out biosimilars in place of the originals. Yet higher hurdles for biosimilars developers could help Amgen and other industry giants, because the companies have the biologics capabilities to clear them, while smaller outfits without such muscle could be left behind. Column