IRVING, Texas, Nov. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Health systems professionals should prepare now for the introduction of biosimilars, a new category of pharmaceuticals intended to offer lower cost alternatives for some of the most expensive medications purchased by health care organizations. This insight comes from newly published research co-authored by Novation, the leading health care supply chain expertise, analytics and contracting company.
The primer, "Biosimilars: Implications for health-system pharmacists," appears in the Nov. 15 issue of the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy (AJHP). The peer-reviewed article provides an update on the scientific, regulatory, and clinical practice considerations that are continuing to shape the developing market of biosimilars in the United States. Unlike generic small molecules, biosimilars represent a greater level of complexity in design, manufacturing, and potential for immunogenicity. As a result, they will require more robust clinical evaluation prior to formulary adoption. Health care practitioners, particularly pharmacists, must take action now to enable their organizations to realize the full extent of value offered by these products.
According to lead author Steven Lucio, PharmD, BCPS, senior director, Clinical Solutions and Pharmacy Program Development, Novation, "While the development of biosimilars has been slow, we are rapidly approaching a point in time where these products no longer reside in only theoretical terms. Health-system pharmacists must recognize the unique molecular and manufacturing characteristics that differentiate small molecules from biologics and prepare to entertain clinical safety and efficacy discussions of biosimilars. Fortunately, we have the European experience with biosimilars to serve as an example."
Lucio added, "In addition, hospitals' existing familiarity with the sound principles of therapeutic interchange will enable them to support effective formulary management of this new class of pharmaceuticals."
The paper was co-authored by Jim Stevenson, chief pharmacy officer of the University of Michigan Health System and James Hoffman, medication outcomes and safety officer for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
About Novation, Winner of the Ethics Inside® Certification
Founded in 1998, Novation is the leading health care supply chain expertise, analytics and contracting company for the more than 65,000 members and affiliates of VHA Inc. and UHC, two national health care alliances, Children's Hospital Association, an alliance of the nation's leading pediatric facilities, and Provista, LLC. Novation provides alliance members with sourcing services, as well as information and data services. Based in Irving, Texas, Novation develops and manages competitive contracts with more than 600 suppliers. VHA, UHC, and Provista members used Novation contracts to purchase approximately $43 billion in 2012. Novation earned the coveted Ethics Inside Certification from Ethisphere Institute, a leading international think tank dedicated to the research and promotion of best practices in corporate ethics and compliance. Novation was also named on Ethisphere's World's Most Ethical Companies list, and is the only company in the health care industry to earn both distinctions. To learn more about Novation, please visit www.novationco.com and follow @NovationNews.