"Biosimilars are must-have weaponry in financially sustaining healthcare systems on a global scale and significantly improving outcomes for an increasing number of patients throughout Europe and the rest of the world," said ESMO President Professor Fortunato Ciardiello.
Unlike generics, which are chemically synthesised and are identical copies of the original drug, biosimilars require clinical studies to ensure that the manufacturing process is sound and does not differ from that of the originator biologic.
In Europe, price reductions for biosimilars are expected to range from 20-40%: potential savings of €50-100 billion by 2020 have been forecast. The majority of monoclonal antibodies are set to come off patent by 2020, which will open the door for biosimilars and could dramatically change the oncology landscape.
Prof Josep Tabernero, ESMO Cancer Medicines Working Group Chair, said: "The paper highlights a number of areas that should be carefully considered by all stakeholders including prescribers, pharmacists, nurses, patients, reimbursement bodies, manufacturers. It also outlines directions that will need to be collectively followed to guarantee the highest safety and efficacy standards of these medicines and ensure that all patients, irrespective of geographical borders, can access the very best evidence based treatments."
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ESMO is the leading professional organisation for medical oncology, comprising more than 15,000 oncology professionals from over 130 countries, We are the society of reference for oncology education and information, committed to supporting our members to develop and advance in a fast-evolving professional environment.
ESMO Press Office
SOURCE European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO)