Biosimilar Medicines Today
Biosimilar medicines were invented in Europe 20 years ago to address the pressing need for better access to biopharmaceuticals in Europe. For example, a recent study demonstrated the inequity in access to biologic medicines for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis because lower income countries in Europe cannot afford such therapies. However even within high-income countries such as Germany and the UK, only 10-14% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis received treatment with biologic medicines. Considerable benefit awaits those patients who will gain access to treatment with biologic medicines in both low and high income EU countries thanks to the arrival of biosimilar medicines competition.
Through sophisticated new technology, our industry was able to deliver a global first with the first biosimilar medicine approved in 2006. Since that time, our industry has continued to invest substantially in new innovation, bringing the total number of biosimilar medicines available today on the European market to 20.