The Role of Biosimilars in Patient Access to Therapeutic Antibodies for Immune Mediated Inflammatory Diseases

Author(s): Mary Ann Chapman*, David Charles, Arturo Loaiza-Bonilla

Journal Name: Current Pharmaceutical Design

Volume 23 , Issue 44 , 2017

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Background: Biosimilars have the potential to create competition, lower costs, and increase patient access to biological medications. However, biological medications are sensitive to their manufacturing processes and difficult to precisely characterize, leading to questions about substitution and interchangeability among products.

Methods: This article reviews the role of biosimilars in patient access to therapeutic antibodies.

Results: Although pathways for the approval of biosimilars have been developed, important issues remain unresolved. Interchangeability, or the designation of one medicine as clinically similar to and/or substitutable for another, is specified in some countries but restricted or awaiting policy resolution in others. Non-medical switching, or the switching among biological medications to select a less expensive product, for reasons unrelated to patient health and safety, is controversial because of the potential for complications related to repeated switching (e.g., immunogenicity and loss of therapeutic effect), and transfer of prescribing responsibility for patient medications from the physician to the insurance company. Although biosimilars have different names in different countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) calls for nomenclature that incorporates the international nonproprietary name of the original biological medication followed by a distinguishing suffix qualifier. Naming consistency across countries seems sensible, and adoption of the WHO recommended suffix would greatly simplify pharmacovigilance.

Conclusions: Support for the WHO proposal is advised by numerous stakeholders, and resolution of the remaining outstanding issues is urged so that patients and physicians can safely access biosimilars.

Keywords: Biosimilars, immune mediated inflammatory diseases, monoclonal antibodies, interchangeability, non-medical switching, biosimilar naming.

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Article Details

Year: 2017
Published on: 15 February, 2018
Page: [6779 - 6783]
Pages: 5
DOI: 10.2174/1381612824666171129192607
Price: $65

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