- Biosimilar infliximab and etanercept medicines are now available to increase access to biopharmaceuticals for rheumatology.
- A clear understanding of the underlying scientific principles of the biosimilarity concept is important for physicians.
- Increased communication on biosimilar medicines between regulators and healthcare professionals is needed.
Over the past decade, biosimilar medicines have generated more than 400 million patient days of positive treatment experience mainly in areas such as endocrinology and supportive cancer care. With the European approvals of biosimilar infliximab and etanercept products, these treatment options are now available to treat more patients in rheumatology. A clear understanding of the underlying scientific principles of the biosimilarity concept is important for physicians to make informed choices for their patients and to increase access to highly innovative treatments.
Therefore, the Biosimilar Medicines Group, a Medicines for Europe sector group, organised today in London a satellite symposium on the science of extrapolation and interchangeability at the annual congress of the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR). Several hundred rheumatologists had the opportunity to learn from renowned regulatory and clinical experts about the regulatory, scientific and the latest clinical knowledge regarding biosimilar medicines.
Ahead of the event, Adrian van den Hoven, Director General of Medicines for Europe highlighted that “the Biosimilar Medicines Group is engaging actively to reduce the information gap as an essential means to improving stakeholder trust, understanding and acceptance of biosimilar medicines, which are critical factors to increase patient access to medicines and to improve the efficiency and sustainability of healthcare systems.”