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Cancer Physicians Debate Biosimilars Uptake


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What do oncologists think about biosimilars and their impact on various market factors? An interview with HemOnc revealed interesting insights to prevailing attitudes to biosimilars and health care.

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Cancer Physicians Debate Biosimilars Uptake

  1. 1. Powered by Small World Social Cancer Physicians Debate Biosimilars Uptake
  2. 2. Powered by Small World Social • Uncertainty exists around the safety and efficacy of biosimilars, given they are similar, not identical to, their reference products. • Insufficient understanding of the science behind this new class of drug also colors the opinions of many doctors. BIOSIMILARS DEBATE SAFETY EFFICACY ? Key Grey Area Questions • Can biosimilars be substituted for brand drugs by pharmacists without a doctor approval? • Should the name of a biosimilar drug reference the biologic or have non- proprietary names? Doctors interviewed by HemOnc Today provide insights on biosimilars and healthcare
  3. 3. Powered by Small World Social Luis H. Camacho, MD, MPH Medical Director Center for Oncology and Blood Disorders, Houston “As with any other new products in the market, the approved biosimilars will have to gain the trust of their consumers in the community and satisfy the financial needs of large medical practices.”
  4. 4. Powered by Small World Social Louis M. Weiner, MD Director of Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center Georgetown University The main difference between biosimilars and originator compounds is the “disproportionate amount of the cost and time” involved in the clinical evaluation stage of drug development for both originator biologics and biosimilars. The reference drug must prove its value in a particular disease setting, while the biosimilar, must prove its similarity to the original. fight illness compare to original
  5. 5. Powered by Small World Social 85% of prescribers prefer authority to specify whether a biologic should not be substituted for a biosimilar without physician approval* *The Alliance for Safe Biologic Medication conducted an internet-based survey of 376 U.S. oncologist and other prescribers. **HemOnc Today conducted “an unscientific poll” last March of clinicians. 65% would feel comfortable prescribing a biosimilar**
  6. 6. Powered by Small World Social Despite approval of first U.S. biosimilar, it may take time to build consensus in the clinical community that biosimilar medicines offer a safe, effective alternative to their reference products. “I can see these numbers changing as providers become more familiar and comfortable with the new products.” Dr. Camacho suggests the results are an initial reaction to the novelty of biosimilars and could reflect concerns over potential immunogenicity.
  7. 7. Powered by Small World Social Maurie Markman, MD President of Medicine and Science Cancer Treatment Centers of America’s Eastern Regional Medical Center & HemOnc Today Editorial Board member “There are a lot of physicians who are not sure what everything means when it comes to biosimilars. Concern has been raised in the oncology community by the companies that produced the branded drugs, informing clinicians that these drugs are not the same.”
  8. 8. Powered by Small World Social Kimberly L. Blackwell, MD Professor of Medicine & Asst. Professor of Radiation Oncology Department of Medicine, Duke University Consultant for Sandoz Pharmaceuticals For Dr. Blackwell, there will be an educational curve around biosimilars. “Greater understanding of the scientific development of biosimilars compared with brand- name drugs and generics may lead to a greater acceptance of their efficacy among physicians.” BiosimilarKnowledge Time Educational Curve
  9. 9. Powered by Small World Social “As someone who just recently entered the world of biosimilars, I can say that the biology and the chemistry behind this are really tremendous. Most practicing clinicians may not necessarily understand the rigor that goes into making therapeutic proteins, whether they be antibodies or granulocyte colony–stimulating factor. It’s probably worth taking 5 minutes to understand the policies or the guidance on biosimilars.” -Dr. Blackwell
  10. 10. Powered by Small World Social Scott Soefje, PharmD, MBA, BCOP Director of Pharmacy, University Medical Center Brackenridge President of the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association’s board of directors “It is important to remember that generics were not immediately accepted by all when they were first introduced,”
  11. 11. Powered by Small World Social Visit: to get the latest in biosimilar news curated from around the world Want to read more about biosimilars?