By SHEILA FRAME
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has said biosimilars are “key to promoting access and reducing health care costs. And it’s a key to advancing public health.” While the Administration works to reduce barriers to bringing biosimilars to market, payers and providers can help increase adoption of biosimilars in clinical practice and ensure cost savings.
Organizations such as the American College of Rheumatology and the American Society of Clinical Oncology have issued educational documents to help guide providers in incorporating biosimilars into treatment plans, where appropriate. Yet, many doctors remain hesitant to prescribe them due to concerns about safety, efficacy, immunogenicity, effects of switching to a new biosimilar and the economic value to patients.
Biosimilars are developed in a similar way as existing biologics and have the same safety, efficacy, and quality profiles, but are more competitively priced to ensure more patients have access to these important medicines and that the system can afford them. A ten-year growing body of real-world use in the EU shows biosimilar medicines increase usage of biologic medicines, while matching their reference biologics in terms of safety, efficacy and quality.