Uptake of biosimilars in different countries varies

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The uptake of biosimilars in different countries was a subject discussed by both Dr Jaclyn Bosco and Mr Murray Aitken of IQVIA.

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Dr Bosco gave her presentation on ‘Biosimilar considerations for real world research and stakeholder questions’ and Mr Murray gave his presentation on ‘Biosimilars in practice: a global perspective’ at the Drug Information Association’s (DIA) Biosimilars Conference, which was held on 23‒24 September 2019 in Bethesda, Maryland, USA [1, 2].

Despite the fact that biologicals have had a profound impact on health care, and the fact that biosimilars have the potential to increase access to these often life-changing products, there is varying uptake across different countries and regions, see Table 1.

GW 3890G Table 1 V19K08LT

Such differences in uptake from country to country can lead to inequalities in access to biologicals, for instance, for the treatment of autoimmune diseases such as arthritis [3].

Reasons for the slower than expected uptake in Europe include the lack of automatic substitution of biosimilars for originator products, and the fact that many doctors and patients are reluctant to switch or substitute, given their lack of familiarity with biosimilars [4].

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1. Bosco J. Biosimilar considerations for real world research and stakeholder questions. DIA Biosimilars Conference; 2019 Sep 23‒24; Bethesda, Maryland, USA.
2. Aitken M. Biosimilars in practice: a global perspective. DIA Biosimilars Conference; 2019 Sep 23‒24; Bethesda, Maryland, USA.
3. GaBI Online – Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Use of biosimilars in Europe differs across countries [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2019 Nov 8]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/Reports/Use-of-biosimilars-in-Europe-differs-across-countries
4. Felix AE, Gupta A, Cohen JP. Barriers to market uptake of biosimilars in the US. Generics and Biosimilars Initiative Journal (GaBI Journal). 2014;3(3):108-15. doi:10.5639/gabij.2014.0303.028

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