GHP Aug 2017

GHP / August 2017 19 Will Biosimilars Revolutionise the Future of Health? g biosimilars market, according to the QuintilesIMS European study ‘The Impact of Biosimilar Competition in Europe’, competition drives down price. The report also shows there is a relatively weak correlation between biosimilars market share and price; this is a fast-growing market that will inevitably provide complex medicines at more affordable prices, switching to biosimilar medicines may release savings in health systems that should be reinvested in patient care and not used to plug financial deficits. “Switching may release savings that should be reinvested in improving patient access to innovative medicines.” We know that switching from originator projects to biosimilars is being heralded by NHS as the next step in delivering savings to health systems, although the predicted savings on the scale suggested have yet to be delivered. Actually, it’s not switching per se but the introduction of competition, in which both the biosimilar producers and originator biologic manufacturers compete (as the IMS Health study has demonstrated). Regardless, the decision to switch should be clinically-led: considerations must be made to ensure patient access to innovative new medicines and that those are made between patients, clinicians and doctors. There is also a burden associated with switching to biosimilar medicines both in the financial sense but also as a burden on the clinical support staff that need to manage the change. Education is a key part of these decisions. To support clinicians considering switch programmes there are a number of important documents setting out the process for clinician and patient engagement , including “Considerations for physicians on switching decisions regarding biosimilars” a joint document from European Biopharmaceutical Enterprises (EBE) European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) and International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) [link below] , but also on the EMA website, to show clinicians some of these toolkits available to make informed decisions about switching. As ABPI we are working closely with our partners: the BIA, the BGMA and the BBA, as well as the regulators, to make sure that we have a sustainable and active market so that patients do benefit from the innovation seen in this growing field of medicines. We continue to work closely with NHS England on a range of activities to highlight how competition within the biologics market is beneficial for patients. The ABPI recently advised on a forthcoming NHS commissioning framework document which will provide guidance to NHS commissioners about biosimilar switching programmes. We look forward to seeing the final version and hope that our industry’s insight has been considered and that the benefits to patients of an effective biosimilars market here in the UK are included. The phenomenally complex manufacturing process involved in making biosimilars is really leading contemporary science in this field and could potentially revolutionise the treatment of some conditions. Company: The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry Name: Harriet Lewis Email: [email protected] Web Address: Address: 7th floor, Southside 105 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6QT UK Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7930 3477